Earlier, we’ve been talking about the fact that the James Webb Space Telescope might face big development delays. Now, it is official that the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever built, will not be launched before May 2020, according to NASA.
The largest international space project in the US history will be delayed
“This is the largest international space science project in American history,” said the NASA administrator, Robert Lightfoot, referring to the Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.
Its launch is now delayed because the device, which will have the ability to observe in the infra-red spectrum, is currently “in the final phase of integration and tests that will take longer to ensure the success of the mission,” admitted NASA in a statement.
“The launch window already postponed to 2019 is now scheduled to take place around May 2020,” according to NASA.
James Webb Space Telescope will be used to study exoplanets and the origins of our Universe
Once the European Space Agency (ESA) Ariane 5 rocket has sent the mega-telescope into orbit, James Webb will be used to study the atmosphere of the exoplanets, located outside the solar system, and to “probe the mysterious structures and the origins of our Universe”.
James Webb will have a sensitivity of one hundred times greater than that of Hubble and its main mirror measures 6.5 meters in diameter, nearly three times than that of Hubble’s.
Such features have a price and the US space agency warned on Tuesday that “once the precise launch date has been determined, NASA will provide an estimate of development costs that are likely to exceed the $ 8 billion forecast.”
Among the tests to which the telescope is subjected, Webb must be exposed to the vibrations, noise, and extreme temperatures similar to what it will experience during its launch and its mission.
In conclusion, now it is official that James Webb Space Telescope will not be launched before May 2020 due to the need for more tests, NASA stated on Tuesday.