Reasons Behind The Difficulties Faced By NASA To Launch Its Powerful Space Telescope


NASA for the last two decades had been developing the most powerful space telescope, a technological breakthrough for the mankind which is supposed to go one million miles away from the Earth or beyond and unravels the mysteries of the early universe. This powerful space telescope is being given name The James Webb Telescope (JWST), which has a 25-foot golden mirror designed to capture the distant light from the stars and galaxies of the early phase after the Big Bang. But the situation NASA is facing is taking off this powerful telescope off the ground and into its position in space where it is supposed to perform there.

Last time in 2011 NASA made a statement that JSWT would be launched this October, but recently NASA made a clear statement that it would not be able to take off before March 2021, citing increased financial problem and frequent delays from the primary contractor’s Northrop Grumman.

JSWT project started off with the biggest budgeted project in that time period of 1996 with a budget of USD 1 billion and expected to launch the telescope in 2007. Since during the planning phase, it was difficult to estimate the scope of the project which has crossed way over than what was estimated and had become more than nine times i.e. USD 9.66 billion. Now the blame game is been played in the agency.

Northrop Grumman the primary contractor of the JWST, has been under the limelight for quite a long time since the contractor has performed a series of mistakes which has cost JWST its time and money at stake. One of the representatives alleged to the CEO of Northrop Grumman to have consumed the taxpayer’s money, which the taxpayers paid for this biggest screw job.

Many experts say that blaming the Northrop Grumman is easy since they are compliance to deliver the parts to the agency, but during the panning phase of JWST, NASA didn’t know the realistic time line for it and this project was so complex and unique in itself that NASA underestimated its budget as no one knew at the earlier stage how to build such telescope. Numerous failed test and theories have consumed most of the money used in the lifespan of this project.


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