Friday February 22, 2019
Home Lead Story NASA Postpone...

NASA Postpones launch Of James Webb Space Telescope To 2021

The telescope's new total lifecycle cost, to support the revised launch date, is estimated at $9.66 billion

0
//
NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Nasa's Opportunity rover might have 'died' on Mars. Flickr

 NASA has postponed the launch of its flagship James Webb Space Telescope to early 2021 owing to a range of factors influencing its schedule and performance, including the technical challenges and tasks remaining before launch.

The telescope’s new total lifecycle cost, to support the revised launch date, is estimated at $9.66 billion; its new development cost estimate is $8.8 billion, the US space agency said in a statement.

An Independent Review Board (IRB) established by NASA to assess progress on the world’s premier science observatory unanimously recommended that its development should continue.

“Webb should continue based on its extraordinary scientific potential and critical role in maintaining US leadership in astronomy and astrophysics,” said Tom Young, the chair of the review board.

“Ensuring every element of Webb functions properly before it gets to space is critical to its success,” Young added.

The report showed that technical issues, including human errors, have greatly impacted the development schedule.

NASA has agreed to the review board’s expert guidance on decisive steps necessary to safeguard and complete the telescope’s development.

In a message to the NASA workforce, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “Webb is vital to the next generation of research beyond NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Representational image. Pixabay

“Despite major challenges, the board and NASA unanimously agree that Webb will achieve mission success with the implementation of the board’s recommendations, many of which are already underway,” Bridenstine noted.

NASA previously had estimated an earlier launch date but the new launch date estimates to accommodate changes in the schedule due to environmental testing and work performance challenges by Northrop Grumman on the spacecraft’s sunshield and propulsion system.

The first telescope of its kind, and an unprecedented feat of engineering, Webb is at the very leading edge of technological innovation and development.

Also read:NASA’s Noise-Reduction Tech to Make Quieter Airports a Reality

From detecting the light of the first stars and galaxies in the distant universe to probing the atmospheres of exoplanets for possible signs of habitability, Webb’s world-class science not only will shed light on the many mysteries of the universe, it also will complement and further enhance the discoveries of other astrophysics projects. (IANS)

Next Story

Anticipated Problems That May Effect NASA’s Mars Mission

According to results from the first eight analog space crews, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the astronauts are able to successfully complete tasks between 20 and 60 per cent of the time.

0
NASA has formalised plans to send a manned mission to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel on a small spacecraft.  Pixabay

Researchers are developing a predictive model to help NASA anticipate conflicts and communication breakdowns among crew members and tick off problems that may make or break the Mission to Mars.

NASA has formalised plans to send a manned mission to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel on a small spacecraft.

To understand the psychological demands of this Mars journey, Northwestern University has charted a multi-phase study conducted in two analog environments — HERA in the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the SIRIUS Mission in the NEK analog located in the Institute for Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) in Russia.

The varsity will study the behaviour of analog astronaut crews on mock missions, complete with isolation, sleep deprivation, specially designed tasks and mission control, which mimics real space travel with delayed communication.

Mars
NASA has formalised plans to send a manned mission to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel on a small spacecraft. 
Pixabay

“Astronauts are super humans. They are people who are incredibly physically fit and extremely smart,” said Leslie DeChurch, Professor at Northwestern.

“We’re taking an already state-of-the-art crew selection system and making it even better by finding the values, traits and other characteristics that will allow NASA to compose crews that will get along,” DeChurch added.

HERA’s capsule simulator houses astronauts for up to 45 days — a mock mission control outside the capsule — that augments the realism with sound effects, vibrations and communication delays.

space
According to results from the first eight analog space crews, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the astronauts are able to successfully complete tasks between 20 and 60 per cent of the time. Pixabay

Those on the inside undergo sleep deprivation and try to perform tasks. The researchers collect moment-to-moment metrics about individual performance, moods, psychosocial adaptation and more.

According to results from the first eight analog space crews, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the astronauts are able to successfully complete tasks between 20 and 60 per cent of the time.

Also Read: Iran Doubts Europe’s Efforts To Keep Nuclear Deal Alive

The next phase of the research, which began on February 15, involves using the model to predict breakdowns and problems a new HERA crew will experience and making changes to “who works with whom, on what, and when”.

The experiment on the SIRIUS analog in Moscow, will begin on March 15, where four Russians and two Americans, will undertake a 120-day fictional mission around the moon, including a moon landing operation. (IANS)