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NASA Delays Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Until 2020

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NASA Delays Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Until 2020

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:10 pm

Story :

NASA has delayed the launch of its next great space observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, until no earlier than May 2020 — nearly a year later than planned — due to the need for more testing of the telescope's intricate systems and setbacks, including tears in the tennis-court-size sun shield, the space agency announced today (March 27).

Because of the launch delay, the telescope's $8.8 billion price tag could rise, too, NASA officials told reporters today.

"All the observatory's flight hardware is now complete; however, the issues brought to light with the spacecraft element are prompting us to take the necessary steps to refocus our efforts on the completion of this ambitious and complex observatory," NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. [Building the James Webb Space Telescope: A Photo Tour]

Billed as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the new space telescope is an infrared observatory designed to peer deep into the universe, study the earliest stars and galaxies, and seek out strange new planets around distant stars. NASA built the space telescope in two parts: the telescope itself and a huge, complicated sun shield that will protect the observatory's sensitive instruments from the sun.

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