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Getting JWST Aloft

28 Mar 2018, 16:50 UTC
Getting JWST Aloft NASA

No one said this was going to be easy. Delays involving the James Webb Space Telescope are frustrating, with NASA now talking about a launch in mid-2020 instead of next year, and the uncertain prospect of a great deal of further testing and new expenditures that could run the project over budget, necessitating further congressional approval. It’s hard to look back at the original Webb projections without wincing. When first proposed, estimates on the space observatory ran up to $3.5 billion, a hefty price tag indeed, though the science payoff looked to be immense. It was in 2011 that a figure of $8 billion emerged; the project now has a Congressionally-mandated cost cap of $8.8 billion.

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