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NASA confirms Webb launch delayed again

NASA officials yesterday confirmed that, due to the new work conditions and the lock down imposed by the Wuhan flu panic, the launch of the James Webb Space telescope will not occur in March 2021.

“We will not launch in March,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the space agency’s associate administrator for science. “Absolutely we will not launch in March. That is not in the cards right now. That’s not because they did anything wrong. It’s not anyone’s fault or mismanagement.”

Zurbuchen made these comments at a virtual meeting of the National Academies’ Space Studies Board. He said the telescope was already cutting it close on its schedule before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the agency and that the virus had led to additional lost work time. “This team has stayed on its toes and pushed this telescope forward at the maximum speed possible,” he said. “But we’ve lost time. Instead of two shifts fully staffed, we could not do that for all the reasons that we talk about. Not everybody was available. There were positive cases here and there (in the surrounding area, not on site). And so, perhaps, we had only one shift.”

No new target date has been set, though the comments even hinted that they might not be able to do it in 2021.

Webb will cost 20 times more than originally budgeted ($500 million vs $10 billion) and is now more than a decade behind schedule. In the process, those overages and delays wiped out almost all of NASA’s other astronomy projects during the 2010s.

But don’t worry! Once Webb launches the task of wiping out more astronomy projects with overages and delays will be courageously taken up by NASA’s Roman Space Telescope (formerly WFIRST), already behind schedule and over budget, and it is still only in the design phase.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

5 comments

  • LocalFluff

    As a Swede, our language is the root of both German and English. And especially funny are the derived German names. So Zurbruchen sounds like Zerbrochen = Destroyed! As in a smashed mirror.

    The only thing that this mirror will see, is a reflection of me as I as a tourist visit it in the museum where it will be placed 20 years from now. Everyone involved in the development are already dead of old age. So this won’t happen.

  • brightdark

    They delay it much longer and they’ll run up against the phase out of the Ariane 5. Can it launch on the Ariane 6?

  • James Street

    “Webb will cost 20 times more than originally budgeted ($500 million vs $10 billion)”

    I’m a Dave Ramsey (AM radio financial talk-show guy) fan and once a caller said she and her husband were standing in line at the hardware store cash register and she grabbed a roll of duct tape from the display and put it in their cart. Her husband asked her if she really needed it and she said not really. He replied that the cost of the duct tape would keep him away from her and their kids for 15 minutes of work time. She said that moment completely changed her shopping habits as she put it back.

    It’s unconscionable how the government spends the money they take from us.

  • David M. Cook

    Strangle Roman in it‘s crib! Kill it now, for the good of Science!

  • pzatchok

    Cancel the whole project and order the the whole thing to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Paperwork and all.

    Watch how fast it gets done and launched by a private company.

    In the end it would be cheaper for NASA to rent time on it and or pay cash for downloaded images.

    The gravy train is slowing down and will soon come to a stop for the legacy contractors.

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