Despite long standing scheduling pushbacks and cost overruns, the James Webb Space Telescope remains on target for a March 2021 launch according to a panel at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu this week.
James Webb is set to replace Hubble as NASA’s go-to telescope in orbit, but it has to pass a series of tests to ensure it can survive in orbit. Right now it’s being packed up from the first test of its deployment, then engineers will subject the spacecraft to the type of vibration and acoustic environments it will experience during launch. Then the mission team will perform another test deployment to make sure those environmental tests didn’t create any new problems. A host of other tasks are then scheduled for later in the year. Currently the space telescope is estimated to cost around $9.7 billion.
Dr Brad Tucker and Matt discussed the telescope during this week’s Talkin’ Science episode:
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