Webb Delayed Again

Just saw that the replacement for the Hubble Telescope will be delayed again.

Webb Space Telescope pushed back again, won’t launch until 2021

The biggest problem facing Webb is after 2019 the funding needs another Congressional approval for 2020 and beyond. With NASA and hard science spending a low priority of the #MAGA race to the bottom crowd it might not ever get up there.

Some lowlights of what triggered this delay:

  • Fasteners for the sunscreen weren’t tightened sufficiently prior to testing under simulated launch conditions. Over a dozen of them popped loose, several ended up inside the spacecraft body, and two of them still haven’t been definitively located.
  • Using a solvent to clean valves without checking with the valve manufacturer; the improper solvent damaged the valves and forced their replacement.
  • Relied on the word of a single technician that test wiring was installed properly. As a result, hardware was exposed to excess voltage.

These are right up there with, “forgot if they were using the English or Metric system.”

Here’s hoping I live long enough to see an operational space telescope again.

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