NASA announced the scheduled delay in launching the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) by at least seven months to convey technical difficulties and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the agency administrators, the launch of JWST is projected to occur in late 2021.
JWST’s program director attributed the cause of the delay to the coronavirus pandemic’s impacts and diminished efficiency of future operations due to the establishment of new guidelines. Thus, the recently initiated procedures tend to decelerate the rate of work in fabricating the telescope in a South Carolina facility. NASA’s operations experienced a temporary halt in March due to coronavirus before a slow resumption was initiated for some months. Eventually, the company managed to achieve an almost full-level operation at a sustainable pace.
Greg Robinson further indicated a sustainable reserve presence through extra months to allow for efficient program governance. The remaining part of the delay will provide sufficient time for ongoing research operations such as vibration surveillance and deployment research of the spacecraft’s protection from the sun. The extra time was focused on obtaining the knowledge on how to operate particular tasks from earlier periods of the scheme in a statement by Robinson.
According to Greg Robinson, the newest delay in the launch was anticipated. In a statement by Zurbuchen, NASA’s science executive, JWST will delay its earlier stated launch period due to the deceleration of operations caused by the noble Covid-19 pandemic. He then failed to provide a new date to launch the scheme due to uncertainties under review and evaluation. However, before the pandemic’s emergence, there existed fears that the launch of the project would get delayed by technical faults as a result of the scheme’s set reserves.
NASA’s Associate Director mentioned that the company had planned to evaluate the status of the mission in April due to the decreasing reserves; however, the plan was adjourned due to the coronavirus concerns. The delay will not spike the cost of JWST. According to the forecasts, the program will be accomplished without extra expenses in a statement by Robinson.
Jurczyk affirmed that there exited reserves to deal with similar unexpected problems. The officials, however, were not sure of the delay’s effect on reserve exhaustion. The European Space Company will launch JWST without the anticipation of any problems in a release by Zurbuchen.
In conclusion, the JWST delay is worth the wait as it is a prime project whose standards need to be met before the launch period. Additionally, testing of the program would need to be efficient for effective functioning.