Updates James Webb Space Telescope updates

Nicholas Kang

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Launch delayed

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to be Launched Spring 2019

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope now is planning to launch between March and June 2019 from French Guiana, following a schedule assessment of the remaining integration and test activities. Previously Webb was targeted to launch in October 2018.

“The change in launch timing is not indicative of hardware or technical performance concerns,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington. “Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected.”

As part of an international agreement with the ESA (European Space Agency) to provide a desired launch window one year prior to launch, NASA recently performed a routine schedule assessment to ensure launch preparedness and determined a launch schedule change was necessary. The careful analysis took into account the remaining tasks that needed to be completed, the lessons learned from unique environmental testing of the telescope and science instruments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the current performance rates of integrating the spacecraft element.


Testing of the telescope and science instruments continues to go well and on schedule at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The spacecraft itself, comprised of the spacecraft bus and sunshield, has experienced delays during its integration and testing at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California.

The additional environmental testing time of the fully assembled observatory--the telescope and the spacecraft--will ensure that Webb will be fully tested before launching into space. All the rigorous tests of the telescope and the spacecraft to date show the mission is meeting its required performance levels.

Existing program budget accommodates the change in launch date, and the change will not affect planned science observations.

“Webb’s spacecraft and sunshield are larger and more complex than most spacecraft. The combination of some integration activities taking longer than initially planned, such as the installation of more than 100 sunshield membrane release devices, factoring in lessons learned from earlier testing, like longer time spans for vibration testing, has meant the integration and testing process is just taking longer,” said Eric Smith, program director for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Considering the investment NASA has made, and the good performance to date, we want to proceed very systemmatically through these tests to be ready for a Spring 2019 launch.”

The launch window request has been coordinated with ESA, which is providing the Ariane 5 launch of Webb as part of its scientific collaboration with NASA.
 

Nicholas Kang

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And she reemerged from the vac. chamber!

NASA: NASA’s Webb Telescope Emerges from Chamber A



The telescope’s combined science instruments and optical element recently completed about 100 days of cryogenic testing inside Johnson’s Chamber A, a massive thermal vacuum testing chamber at the center. Scientists and engineers at Johnson put Webb through a series of tests designed to ensure the telescope functioned as expected in an extremely cold, airless environment akin to that of space.

This move outside the chamber brings Webb one step closer to its journey to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, where it will be integrated with its spacecraft element to form the complete James Webb Space Telescope observatory. The spacecraft element is Webb’s combined sunshield and spacecraft bus.
Oh and there is a webcam to see how she is at the different NASA Centers. :thumbup:

https://jwst.nasa.gov/webcam.html#cam2Large
 

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Arrived at California!

Further testing and integration at Northtop Grumman facility.


NASA: Combined Optics, Science Instruments of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Arrive in California

The two halves of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope now reside at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, where they will come together to form the complete observatory.

Webb’s optical telescope and integrated science instrument module (OTIS) arrived at Northrop Grumman Feb. 2, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it successfully completed cryogenic testing.


The Space Telescope Transporter for Air, Road and Sea (STTARS), a specially designed shipping container that held the optical telescope and integrated science instrument module (OTIS) of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, is unloaded from a U.S. military C-5 Charlie aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Feb. 2, 2018.
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

In preparation for leaving Johnson, OTIS was placed inside a specially designed shipping container called the Space Telescope Transporter for Air, Road and Sea (STTARS). The container then was loaded onto a U.S. military C-5 Charlie aircraft at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, just outside of Johnson. From there, OTIS took a flight to Los Angeles International Airport. After arrival, OTIS was driven from the airport to Northrop Grumman’s Space Park facility.
 

MaverickSawyer

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Arrived at California!

Further testing and integration at Northtop Grumman facility.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Arrives at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in California - YouTube

NASA: Combined Optics, Science Instruments of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Arrive in California

The two halves of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope now reside at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, where they will come together to form the complete observatory.

Webb’s optical telescope and integrated science instrument module (OTIS) arrived at Northrop Grumman Feb. 2, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it successfully completed cryogenic testing.


The Space Telescope Transporter for Air, Road and Sea (STTARS), a specially designed shipping container that held the optical telescope and integrated science instrument module (OTIS) of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, is unloaded from a U.S. military C-5 Charlie aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Feb. 2, 2018.
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

In preparation for leaving Johnson, OTIS was placed inside a specially designed shipping container called the Space Telescope Transporter for Air, Road and Sea (STTARS). The container then was loaded onto a U.S. military C-5 Charlie aircraft at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, just outside of Johnson. From there, OTIS took a flight to Los Angeles International Airport. After arrival, OTIS was driven from the airport to Northrop Grumman’s Space Park facility.
Huh. I though all the Charlie model Galaxies had been refitted into Mike models, albeit while retaining the lack of the rear passenger area that made them worthy of the special designation.

EDIT: Yup, I was remembering correctly:
The two C-5Cs are operated by U.S. Air Force crews for DOD spacecraft programs and NASA, and are stationed at Travis AFB, California. Both C-5Cs #68-0213 and #68-0216 have been modified into C-5Ms as of 2017.
 

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Keatah

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Maybe JWST is going to be too complex for its own good? I'm not a spacecraft engineer, but, couldn't things have been simplified?

I'm thinking like some sort of assembly in orbit with multiple launches? Surely it could be even bigger and cheaper than the 10 billion it's already cost?
 

Andy44

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Maybe JWST is going to be too complex for its own good? I'm not a spacecraft engineer, but, couldn't things have been simplified?

I'm thinking like some sort of assembly in orbit with multiple launches? Surely it could be even bigger and cheaper than the 10 billion it's already cost?
Funny thing is that for all the hate the Shuttle got, the Shuttle was the thing that saved Hubble from its manufacturing defect.

JWST won't have that option, so they'd better get it right on one try.
 

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This sort of thing makes me angry. It's not scheduled to launch until at least may/june of 2020 now. Yet another delay. And it's nearing its (revised many times) 8-billion-dollar cap.

Simply put. One has to ask why not cancel the thing, because, we know NASA is frozen by paralysis and fear of failure. No administrator wants to sign off on it and have it fail. We know the telescope is too complex for its own good. And, consider the dates of the electronic parts. This stuff is gotta be close to 20 years old now. Surely there has been some degradation in specification and lifespan. And certainly it's become rather dated by now.

And, guys, think about the ground observatories. Technological strides are being made left and right. Some installations can't even keep up with themselves. Throw in another delay and ground-based 'scopes will be exceeding what JWST can do.

The one good thing to come from JWST is all make-work jobs it helped sustain.

As much as I like telescopes and robotic probes and all that - I'm starting to think they should cancel the whole project and just go with something else, like those two telescope assemblies the NRO "donated" to the administration. At least they would be mechanically simpler and equipped with contemporary instruments instead of vintage dot-com era leftovers. That's what they've become.

Did I mention the sunshield ripped several times? And there's a leaky valve? Yikes, the hardware is old enough that its life-expectancy is being "consumed" on the ground through more and more testing. Test the damn thing till it wears out. Don't know if NASA sees that. But I do. As do others.

https://arstechnica.com/science/201...pe-delayed-to-2020-likely-to-exceed-cost-cap/
 

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NASA Is Delaying The Launch Of Its $9 Billion Space Telescope — Again

The space telescope, which will unfold a tennis court–sized observation mirror a million miles from Earth, was intended to launch in 2013.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the space agency’s long-delayed and over-budget jumbo space observatory, won’t launch until March 30, 2021, NASA’s administrator announced on Wednesday.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/nasa-webb-telescope-2021


there is an 80% chance that the spacecraft will actually launch in 2021
So that means a 20% chance it will be delayed to 2022... :uhh:
 

Urwumpe

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I would say, its a 20% chance it will launch in 2022 and a 80% chance for all years afterwards...
 

gattispilot

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It is a shame that life and Orbiter are not compatible. We have the SLS, JAmes Webb addon,... Bases on the Moon, Mars,....
 

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It is a shame that life and Orbiter are not compatible. We have the SLS, JAmes Webb addon,... Bases on the Moon, Mars,....
We also have the shuttle delays.... :shifty:
 

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As much as I like telescopes, both ground-based and spaceborne, I say cancel this project and call it a day. Build something that actually works.

They won't though because its a shelter for jobs. And no nasa administrator wants to launch this on his watch and have it fail anyways.. If it’s ever completed, the builders won’t be able to suck money from the government anymore. JWST makes more money on the ground than it ever could in space.
 
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gattispilot

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Do you mean for the SSU? Like so many of my projects the updated shuttle fleetish for 2016 may never get done
 
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