The US space agency held a press conference yesterday to announce the latest news about the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA’s announcement is once again disappointing, as they announced that James Webb has been delayed, once again. Now, the launch date is set for March 30th, 2021.
This is not the first time that the US agency has postponed launching the James Webb Space Telescope. Last March, NASA’s engineers admitted that the launch would not take place as scheduled and that its construction could exceed $8 billion.
The science community must wait longer to commence the already scheduled space observations
The delay in the launch of the James Webb telescope forces NASA scientists to seek new authorizations from the US Congress since it was initially planned to launch into space in 2018. As the agency explained in a statement, the new total lifecycle cost of the telescope, which includes the new revised date, stands at $9.66 billion, while the development budget is $8.8 billion, higher than the initial limit of $8 billion.
The news, as the science community admits, means not only the delay of James Webb launch but also the postpone of the many investigations that have already been scheduled, a problem that NASA hopes will only be temporary.
NASA says that this new delay only represents “small slips” in the very ambitious space exploration initiative, but the US space agency must ensure that the James Webb Space Telescope is entirely ready before it launches.
James Webb Space Telescope is designed to change “the game” of space observation
James Webb telescope will replace Hubble and will allow astronomers to write a new chapter in astrophysics and astronomy. It’s one hundred times more powerful than Hubble and could help scientists observe and study the first stars and galaxies in the Universe or to detect the atmospheres of exoplanets.
The James Webb Space Telescope, which will take off on board an Ariane 5 rocket, is built in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA).