The James Webb Space Observatory which will be NASA’s next biggest observatory in the space is likely going to miss its launch target which is set in March 2021. The potential cause of the delay as far as sources are concerned is due to additional costs in the already over budget space mission programme.
Also there are technical problems that are cropping up as the telescope is in the final part of the manufacturing phase. This means that to fix the problems and make the project completed within the budget NASA will have to postpone the launch date.
The detailed news is covered in the report released from the Government Accountability Office which is responsible for performing audits for state run programs. According to the GAO the chances of NASA completing the project within the set deadline is a meagre 12%. The government body has been keeping a close eye on the development of the project since the last few years.
It might have to figure out a new date by March this year.
The idea of the James Webb Telescope project was conceived by NASA back in the 1990s. Since then there has been a host of problems during the designing and the manufacturing phase which are mostly related to budget and technical problems.
Initially the cost of the project was estimated to be around $1 billion to $3.5 billion and the launch date was set in between 2007 to 2011. Ever since then the budget has increased to as much as 95% of the initial cost. The launch date had slipped further and further into the future.
It’s been over a decade but it looks a very grim situation back in the NASA lab as the scientists might have to delay the launch date again.
It is expected that the cost of the project will be within $9.66 billion.