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Delay of JWST a Major Setback for Astronomy

  1. Nov 21, 2005 #1
    http://www.space.com/spacenews/businessmonday_051121.html

    A $1 billion dollar cost growth on the mission is a lot, but considering the value and continuing contributions of Hubble to this very day, I think we can all agree that the JWST is a priority mission for NASA’s universe division.

    Would Bush’s New Vision for Space Exploration by any chance be a contributing cause behind this?

    At least they’re not cutting costs by reducing the size of the mirror!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2005 #2

    hellfire

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    Maybe JWST is not a priority, considering that the ESA will launch the Herschel (infrared telescope to be located at L2, same as JWST) already in 2007.
     
  4. Nov 21, 2005 #3
    I noticed that Herschel is about half the weight of the JWST at 6,200 kg, opposed to 3300 kg for Herschel which is being launched simultaneously with Planck, this might further reduce the cost of both those missions, which I think are also part of NASA’s universe division. Anyway, these are also two very important missions, and hopefully if all goes to plan and remains on schedule for a July 2007 launch, will have great scientific returns.

    Sorry, not part of NASA, but NASA supports U.S. participation on this European Space Agency mission.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
  5. Nov 23, 2005 #4
    JWST Science Assessment Team (SAT) Interim Report 26 July 2005 PDF

    JWST Science Assessment Team (SAT) Final Report 23 August 2005 PDF

    The SAT was created in June 2005 by NASA to provide an independent analysis of the scientific goals of the JWST mission.

     
  6. Nov 23, 2005 #5

    Chronos

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    I'm very unhappy with this. JWST was supposed to explain why HST would be retired. Apparently, that was just smoke and mirrors.
     
  7. Nov 23, 2005 #6
    A servicing mission to Hubble is expected to take place late 2007 early 2008, that’s if the Shuttle Program gets back on its feat. The cost of this mission is another reason for retiring Hubble. As the JWST has an expected lifetime of 10 years, from the negative reaction of retiring Hubble, it might be wise to anticipate a similar situation with the end of JWST mission. But I have no doubt that the JWST is a much needed scope for space, unfortunately it’s L2 position, 1.5 million km from Earth, doesn’t give it the luxury of any servicing missions? Perhaps 15 years down the road we’ll be able to send a robotic servicing mission?
     
  8. Nov 23, 2005 #7

    SpaceTiger

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    JWST really isn't a replacement for Hubble, since the latter had UV capabilities and the former is working mostly in the IR. The lack of a good satellite for observing in the UV is going to be a big problem for many astronomers...
     
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