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Thread: Space Telescope: The Next Generation (James Webb)

  1. #271
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    They have now pinpointed the cause and will be restarting the vibration testing.

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/01/2...ation-testing/

    "Vibration testing on the James Webb Space Telescope, the multibillion-dollar successor to Hubble, has resumed after engineers traced a problem that cropped up last month to a restraint holding part of the observatory’s giant segmented mirror in place for launch.

    The quick diagnosis keeps JWST on track for launch in October 2018, and engineers still have several months of time reserved in the schedule leading up to launch late next year to handle any more unexpected problems."

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  2. #272
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    Launch will be delayed to 2019

    NASA.gov

    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.
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  3. #273
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    Dr. Misty Bentz, an associate professor in Georgia State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, was recently interviewed on her role in using the telescope.

    http://news.gsu.edu/2017/12/05/nasas-next-big-thing/

    When it launches in 2019, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be NASA’s most powerful observatory in space — capable of peering deep into the universe. More than 100 teams of scientists competed to carry out the first research using the telescope, and last week the space agency announced it had chosen 13 proposals to study a wide range of targets. One of those inaugural teams will be led by Dr. Misty Bentz, an associate professor in Georgia State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. We recently spoke with her about the galaxy she plans to study.

  4. #274
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    What will be the first targets of the telescope?

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/0...tific-targets/

    The James Webb Space Telescope should start returning its first scientific results by the end of 2019, and scientists recently announced a slate of observations selected to whet the appetites of astronomers who will use the multibillion-dollar facility well into the 2020s.

    The observatory’s initial scientific targets will include Jupiter and its moons, supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, planets orbiting other stars, and some of the oldest observable galaxies in the universe.

    The director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Ken Sembach, selected 13 observation plans last month from more than 100 proposals submitted by global science teams for the chance to be among the first to use JWST after its launch in early 2019.

    Officials expect to declare JWST operational around six months after its launch, allowing time for the spacecraft to cruise to its observing post at the L2 Lagrange point nearly a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth, deploy its segmented telescope, and complete a series of test imaging campaigns to fine-tune the observatory’s performance.

    Then JWST will be turned over to scientists, and two sets of observers will be the first to point the telescope toward celestial targets for scientific purposes. Research teams in the United States, Europe and Canada that helped develop JWST’s four science instruments have guaranteed access once the telescope is operational, but managers opened up nearly 500 hours of observing time for other astronomers.

  5. #275
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    Wow, I knew the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was expensive but not not that much - $9 billion

    https://www.leonarddavid.com/james-w...o-big-to-fail/

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the most expensive and complex telescope ever built in the history of humankind.

    Now estimated to cost nearly $9 billion and delayed for sendoff until sometime in 2019, this promising engine of discovery will be 100 times more powerful in its Cosmos-peering skills than the iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

  6. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Wow, I knew the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was expensive but not not that much - $9 billion

    https://www.leonarddavid.com/james-w...o-big-to-fail/
    That's 99.0000001% more expensive than my C-8. But mines not in space.

  7. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    That's 99.0000001% more expensive than my C-8. But mines not in space.
    Neither is the JWST at the moment
    What does God need with a starship?

  8. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    That's 99.0000001% more expensive than my C-8. But mines not in space.
    Even I know that's not how that works (and I'm dyscalculic).

    CJSF
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  9. #279
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    It may cost more than that according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

    http://spacenews.com/gao-warns-jwst-...cost-overruns/

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope faces the high probability of additional delays that could cause the telescope to exceed its cost cap, the U.S. Government Accountability Office warned in a Feb. 28 report.

    The report, the sixth in a series of annual assessments of the flagship astronomy mission delivered to Congress, concluded there is little schedule reserve left in in the spacecraft’s development, making delays in its launch beyond June 2019 likely.

    JWST had been on track for several years for a launch in October 2018. But, in September 2017 NASA announced it was delaying the launch to between March and June 2019 after concluding spacecraft development activities were taking longer than expected.

    The new launch window gave the mission an additional four months of schedule reserves. However, the GAO noted in its report that not long after announcing the new launch date, project managers learned that Northrop Grumman would need an additional three months “due to lessons learned from conducting deployment exercises of the spacecraft element and sunshield,” portions of the overall observatory the company had been working on while NASA was testing its optical system and instruments.

  10. #280
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    The problem is vibration again

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...yed-yet-again/

    Beyond scheduling and money concerns lie technical problems. Two crucial elements of the James Webb's entire mission are its Optical Telescope Element and its Integrated Science Instrument Module, which are major parts of the Webb's research and flight systems. Taken together they are known by the acronym OTIS. While the report makes sure to note that serious progress has been made on OTIS hardware, "a risk reduction test on the OTIS pathfinder hardware showed that vibration levels inside the test chamber were too high."

    Even small vibrations can lead to major headaches when you're sending something into space, especially a telescope. Since the Webb will be focused on such distant sights, vibrations could blur and distort its results. The Hubble encountered a similar problem shortly after it launched in 1990.

    Previously, the Webb has had problems integrating its various components. It's unclear how long the next delay will last, since the GAO's report is just a recommendation. But once the Webb finally gets up in the sky, it's likely that everyone will say it was the worth the wait.

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  12. #282
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    James Webb Observatory goes through additional testing. Hope they cure the vibration problem.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ja...sting_999.html

    Engineers removed the combined optics and science instruments of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope from their shipping container in a high bay at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, on March 8, signaling the next step in the observatory's integration and testing.

    Northrop is the final step of Webb's journey before it travels to its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Engineers will conduct final testing at the facility to ensure the observatory is ready for space. Webb's combined optics and science instruments, the science payload, is the half of the observatory that includes Webb's iconic, 6.5-meter (21.3-foot), golden primary mirror. The science payload recently arrived at Northrop after testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

  13. #283
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    JWST launch date has slipped again. Now set for 2020.

    https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/j...lion-cost-cap/

    NASA announced another slip in the launch date for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) today. Last fall the date slipped from the long established October 2018 to a period between March and June 2019. Now it is May 2020 at the earliest. NASA officials said they do not yet know how much that will add to the cost. If it exceeds the $8 billion cost cap set in law, it will have to be reauthorized by Congress.

  14. #284
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    Another slip in time, I do hope they will be able to get it off

  15. #285
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    At what altitude will Webb be initially deployed?

    Hubble is scheduled to reenter within 10 years.

    How has it remained up so well in LEO, currently at 333 miles, having had no altitude boost from a shuttle since 2002?
    https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/hu...et_reboost.pdf
    Last edited by wd40; 2018-Mar-30 at 03:42 PM.

  16. #286
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    Altitude? JWST is going to L2, literally a million miles away
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  17. #287
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    According to an article on Space.com, the Hubble telescope is not likely to come down due to orbital decay until well after the Webb telescope is in operation. Missions to explicitly deorbit it or to boost its orbit are not out of the question.

    https://www.space.com/29206-how-will...scope-die.html

    The worst-case scenario envisions Hubble crashing back to Earth in 2028, and most models suggest an uncontrolled re-entry wouldn't happen until the mid-2030s,
    Selden

  18. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by selden View Post
    According to an article on Space.com, the Hubble telescope is not likely to come down due to orbital decay until well after the Webb telescope is in operation.
    I am not suggesting at all any conspiracy, just asking for refutation of what is claimed here that the unboosted Hubble should already have burnt up years ago, is incorrect.
    Last edited by wd40; 2018-Mar-31 at 05:19 PM.

  19. #289
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    I am not suggesting at all any conspiracy, just asking for refutation of what is claimed here that the unboosted Hubble should already have burnt up years ago, is incorrect.
    Don't forget that the Hubble was re-boosted into a higher orbit each time there was a servicing mission. I suspect they made a point of leaving it in as high an orbit as possible during the last one, since they knew it might be a very long time (if ever) before the next one.
    Selden

  20. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    I am not suggesting at all any conspiracy, just asking for refutation of what is claimed here that the unboosted Hubble should already have burnt up years ago, is incorrect.
    Such a nonsense website deserves no refutation.
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  21. #291
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    New date for launch - March 30, 2021.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3526/1

    Most everyone in the space community expected bad news when NASA announced last week it would provide an update on the status of the James Webb Space Telescope. The only question was how bad the news would be.

    Pretty bad, it turned out.

    Three months after NASA announced that the launch of JWST would slip from the spring of 2019 to May 2020 (see “A tangled Webb of delays”, The Space Review, April 2, 2018), NASA announced a new launch date for the giant space telescope: March 30, 2021.

    Those two delays, as well as a six-month delay from October 2018 announced last September, meant that the telescope’s launch had been delayed nearly two and a half years in the last nine months. In other words, JWST is further from launch now than the agency believed it was last September.

    The latest date came after a review by an independent review board set up by NASA after the March delay announcement. That committee, chaired by former Lockheed Martin executive and NASA center director Tom Young, reviewed the status of the mission’s development and provided its assessment of its schedule.

    “JWST is an observatory with incredible capability, and also scientific potential, and significant complexity, risk and first-time events,” Young said in a teleconference June 27 to discuss his report’s findings.

  22. #292
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    Here's the link to yesterday's relevant xkcd comic. According to the extrapolated trendline there, it looks like it might launch in 2026.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  23. #293
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Here's the link to yesterday's relevant xkcd comic. According to the extrapolated trendline there, it looks like it might launch in 2026.
    And how much more $$$$

  24. #294
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    I know they want to “get it right”, but this is starting to become embarrassing.


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  25. #295
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Here's the link to yesterday's relevant xkcd comic. According to the extrapolated trendline there, it looks like it might launch in 2026.
    Yay... one more thing I will likely not live long enough to see. Sigh, well at least I got to see the New Horizon Pluto flyby.

  26. #296
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I know they want to “get it right”, but this is starting to become embarrassing.


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    I've been feeling the same way, but trying to be logical about it. Back when the first major delay was announced, I could get behind "we made our best estimate we knew, given that nothing like this has ever been built". But now, successive delays just start feeling incompetent or dishonest in some way with the management and risk assessment. But then I feel bad accusing some good folk of shoddy work, and that probably isn't the case? *SIGH*

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
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    Make a test
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  27. #297
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    Waiting on Webb —
    With further delays, Webb telescope at risk of seeing its rocket retired

    "We will have the Ariane 5 for at least until the end of 2022."

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018...scope-for-now/

    The most recent slippage of the James Webb Space Telescope, which now will launch no earlier than March, 2021, has raised some questions about how it will get into space. This is because NASA's chosen rocket for the mission, the proven Ariane 5 launcher, is likely to fly for only a few more years before it is phased out in favor of a newer, less expensive booster.

    According to Alain Charmeau, who as the head of Ariane Group oversees a family of launch vehicles including the Ariane 5, European states have created a transition plan to the Ariane 6. A separate launch pad is being constructed at the European spaceport in French Guiana for the Ariane 6, and this will allow the Ariane 5 to continue flying for a few more years—but not indefinitely.
    Could accommodate 2023
    "One can back up the other one," he told Ars. "We will have the Ariane 5 for at least until the end of 2022, but it’s not clear cut. If we need to have another launch in 2023, we can extend it, it is just a matter of maintaining the team and maintaining the infrastructure. But our plan today is to start Ariane 6 in 2020, and stop Ariane 5 at the end of 2022."
    Charmeau said he was not aware of any discussions with NASA on launching the Webb telescope on Ariane 6, and the American space agency confirmed this as well. "NASA has not initiated any discussions with ESA or the Ariane Group about flying on an Ariane 6," NASA's Felicia Chou told Ars. "We still plan to launch Webb on the Ariane 5."

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