Costs of Nasa JWST to replace Hubble telescope balloon


The scale of the delay and cost overrun blighting Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope has been laid bare by a panel called in to review the project.

The group believes the final budget for Hubble’s successor is likely to climb to at least $6.5bn, for a launch that is possible in September 2015.

But even this assessment is optimistic, say the panel members.

The head of the US space agency has accepted that “cost performance and coordination have been lacking”.

Charles Bolden has ordered a reorganisation of the project and has changed the management at its top.

Estimates for JWST’s total cost to build, launch and operate have steadily increased over the years from $3.5bn to $5bn.

Along with the cost growth, the schedule has also eroded.

The most recent projected launch of 2014 has looked under pressure for some time.

The independent panel chaired by John Casani of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, believes it to be unrealistic.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

The bottom line is that there was never enough money in the budget to execute the work that was required”

End Quote John Casani JWST panel chairman
Huge shield

The group was convened to examine the root causes of JWST’s problems.

It found the original budget for the project to be insufficient and poorly phased, and blamed the management for failing to pick up and deal with the issue.

“This is a very large complex project and to estimate something with any real degree of precision that’s never been done before is a tough job,” John Casani told reporters.

“But the bottom line is that there was never enough money in the budget to execute the work that was required.”
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

We can’t go off and look to the European Space Agency to solve those problems”

End Quote Chris Scolese Nasa associate administrator

The panel did however commend the technical success of the project. Mr Casani said the technology on JWST was in “very good shape”.

The telescope was always regarded as major undertaking. Its primary mirror is 6.5m (21ft) across – close to three times wider than Hubble’s.

The huge reflector will sit behind an even more expansive sun shield, the area of a tennis court.

This structure will protect the observatory from radiation from the Sun and the Earth.

Whereas Hubble sees the Universe mostly in visible light, JWST will observe the cosmos at longer wavelengths, in the infrared. It will see deeper into space and further back in time, to the very first population of stars.

When it is finally built, it will be launched on Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket and sent to an observing position 1.5 million km from Earth. It is expected to have a 10-year lifespan.

Its distance from Earth means the telescope cannot be serviced by astronauts, as was the case with Hubble.
Herschel (BBC) Hubble views some near-infrared wavelengths. James Webb will seek longer wavelengths. Europe’s Herschel telescope goes longer still

Casani’s panel has several concerns going forward and says the project is vulnerable to further delay .

It says a total life-cycle cost of $6.5bn and a launch in September 2015 may still be possible, but only if the budget for the project is increased by about $200m in each of the financial years 2011 and 2012.

“If those amounts are not available then of course the $6.5bn number is going to move out and the launch date might move out too,” Mr Casani said.

Chris Scolese, an associate administrator at Nasa headquarters, said the agency was looking at how it could find the necessary money. Efficiencies were being sought, he explained, and he also warned that funding for other science activities across Nasa could be affected as senior managers tried to close the budget gap.

Animation of JWST unfolding in orbit

“We’ll look at what we can do,” he explained. “[Federal Year 2011] is upon us and we have to work with the administration and Congress to understand what flexibilities we have.

“I think it’s fair say I doubt that we’re going to find $200m. But you have to give us some time to go off and work that before we can really answer that question.”

The places Nasa will not go looking for the needed funds are its international partners on the project, Europe and Canada.

Their contributions are fixed through in-kind provision, such as instrumentation and the launch rocket.

“The problems we are dealing with are wholly US; they have to do with how much we pay our suppliers for the components here [in America],” Mr Scolese told BBC News.

“We can’t go off and look to the European Space Agency to solve those problems. We appreciate their understanding as we work through this and we will make the mission as successful as we all believe it can be.”

The James Webb Space Telescope is named after the former administrator of Nasa who led the agency in the run up to the Apollo landings.
[Story Source] [Contest win Rs 1000-100,000 now]

This post was submitted by Chinmaya Nayak.

Related Posts
BBC News – Monkey HIV vaccine ‘effective’, say researchers

BBC News – Monkey HIV vaccine ‘effective’, say researchers

A new vaccine can protect macaques against the monkey equivalent of HIV and could provide a fresh approach to an HIV vaccine, a study suggests.US researchers say the vac...
 Ozone hole has dried Australia, says study

Ozone hole has dried Australia, says study

The Antarctic ozone hole is about one-third to blame for Australia's recent series of droughts, say scientists.Writing in the journal Science, they conclude that the hole has shifted wind and rainf...
BBC News – Taliban impostor ‘dupes Afghans and vanishes with cash’

BBC News – Taliban impostor ‘dupes Afghans and vanishes with cash’

An impostor posing as a leading Taliban negotiator held secret talks with Afghan officials, report US media.The Afghans thought they were dealing with Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour, a top Taliban com...
BBC News – Compensation to Guantanamo detainees ‘was necessary’

BBC News – Compensation to Guantanamo detainees ‘was necessary’

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said the settlement was confidential - but necessary to avoid a legal battle which could have cost up to £50m.The men, 12 of whom had launched damages claims, allege that ...
 BBC Red Button, an interactive TV service needs to lower distribution cost

BBC Red Button, an interactive TV service needs to lower distribution cost

BBC needs to reduce the distribution cost on its Red Button services. A BBC Trust review has ended in a statement that the Red Button services by the same which is mostly preferred by UK has the reduc...
BBC iPlayer to be available to BT Vision subscribers

BBC iPlayer to be available to BT Vision subscribers

The success of the BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media's cable service as well as on games consoles PS3 and Wii have already proved that consumers are eager to access catch-up TV on their traditional TV sets....

Leave a Reply

We will keep You Updated...
Get Free Email Newsletter from VoteUpIndia Sign up for our free email newsletter. (Help?)
Read latest headlines in your favorite news reader
Follow VoteUpIndia  on Twitter Become a VoteUpIndia Fan on Facebook Subscribe to VoteUpIndia in Google Reader Add VoteUpIndia  to My Yahoo Add VoteUpIndia  to Netvibes Subscribe to Free Techie Buzz RSS Feed
Sponsored Links
Featured Video
Best Storytellers
Powered by Authors Widget
Recent Posts

McDonald's Suspends Employee, Probes Child's Eviction From Pune Outlet

PUNE: After reports emerged that an eight-year-old destitute child was thrown out of an outlet of...

Why Arjun Made a Humble Request to Cast Sonakshi in Tevar

It's all about wearing your Tevar, this new year. Arjun Kapoor looked dapper at the initial promotions...

5 things Modi needs to do ASAP, after Bihar loss

It's not correct to transpose the outcome from a state election as a referendum on the central government,...

Sehwag's half century in All Star tournament.

The first match has been really special. We thoroughly enjoyed being here. New York, you were brilliant....

Bihar Defeat May Lead to Silent Rebellion in BJP Against PM, Amit Shah: Arun Shourie to NDTV

NEW DELHI: In the aftermath of the BJP's debacle in Bihar, Arun Shourie, one time admirer of Narendra...

Court Refuses to Stop Gillette Razor Ad Starring Deepika Padukone

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused to stop a Gillette razor advertisement starring Deepika...

Bigg Boss 9: Roopal Tyagi voted out of the house

TV actor Roopal Tyagi was evicted from reality show Bigg Boss on Sunday’s episode. Roopal is the...
Recent Comments
How i can submit my story...? and where i can see the staus of votes for this?
IFFI lose its art value,so it became lose it commercial value
Dear sir I am sending an article which is based on true story and needs your help to lime light such incidents which never come in
Thanks for the interesting article. Great Post. Keep it up
It is indeed heartening to learn that LSE, the world leader in higher education, will join hands with the most admired Reliance Foun
Tag Cloud