James Webb Space Telescope

Soon…

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03620-1

The unfolding sequence looks like a nightmare. I can’t imagine the engineers and software cold sweats that are going to happen over the 30 days (!) it takes to un-origami that beast.

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Oh man I hope they don’t ruin it.

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Yep, 27 years and $11 billion dollars and someone is going to be watching a number not changing on a screen when it should and going ‘oh no, it’s righty tighty, lefty loosy isn’t it?’ :scream_cat:

Hubble had a few adventures, including refit missions, but this thing is out at Lagrange point / L2 and if it gets up there ok is pretty much on its own forever. Better check that lens cap falls off ok…

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This thing is crazy to me. So many points of possible failure challenge. It’s a major accomplishment when it gets to orbit.

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Been following this project for a decade… Nice to see it finally go, but EVERYTHING has to go perfectly for it to work. What are the odds of that happening? Would love to see the engineering analysis on this. When the booster goes through MaxQ they’re gonna be pooping in their pants until they can talk to it.

Always thought a Hubble 2.0 would be best. Something in LEO, or Lunar orbit, where we would have a chance to service the telescope if need be.

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As ridiculous as it sounds, but the ‘Hubble Gap’ was sort of filled when the CIA/NSA had a couple of spare (cough) telescope satellites that they gifted to NASA. I guess pointed in a different direction they still came in handy until the Webb arrives :slight_smile:. I’m not sure, but I think NASA only had the budget to operate one of them? I’d imagine the budget line item on having two spare Hubble sized satellites you don’t need anymore (because you know more powerful tech has come along and is in use) was something like ‘Spare Toilet Rolls: $540m’.

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That was a really interesting read FF! Thanks for that. And the article was from 2012. Wonder what the NRO could give Nasa now?.?.

Fingers crossed!

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I had a poke around to see what happened since then. It looks like they do intend to use one of them in LEO, for launch 2024. They don’t have budget for the other launch as yet. The satellite specs are actually better than the existing Hubble despite being cast-offs, and are likely some sort of KH-11 Kennen toys, with some sensitive bits taken out.

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Careful FF, if you keep poking around on this subject you may see an AH-64 before DCS release!-)
…got to wonder what the capabilities they do have now, eh?

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The one thing I have never understood is how delaying launch a few years adds BILLIONS to the price tag. Are they storing it in the most expensive warehouse ever, with Park Place type rent? Salaries are salaries, so you’re just paying your people longer under THIS project (but it’s not like they hire them off the street and send them back after launch–these people are paid under the aegis of some project or other all along).
Redoing hardware or software? Sure, I follow that, but it never seems like that’s it.

They always say “spent billions” but I never see exactly WHAT they were spending it on.

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Here you go

More palatable info here

The short version is they had unexpected issues doing some new things and then spent the money on more people and equipment.

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Webb now sits atop its rocket, the Ariane 5 (or rather then Ariane 4.999 if you don’t include the rounding error of 64-bit conversion that caused it to blow up before). :scream_cat:

Interesting page about the orbit that Webb is headed for, the L2 point - it’s quite far away…

Launch is planned for December 22 2021. They only made one. :slight_smile:

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I find myself crossing my fingers (it’s all I can do) in support of the Big Brain types that got all these parts together.

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It’s been years now, but still every time I see something about this I think I see it’s the Jack Webb Telescope.

image

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You’re a bad, bad, man FF :slight_smile:

Go ESA! Go ESA!

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The statistics look pretty good.
All the Ariane5 models together had only two failed launches, one of them being the very first one with the error, mentioned by @fearlessfrog

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It’s actually a very reliable platform and I’m 100.01% sure it will be ok. :crazy_face:

Edit: Gah, jinxed it - launch now delayed to Xmas Eve :sled: :deer: :santa:

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Christmas Day is the planned date now.

The mission gets a trailer - ‘In a world…’ etc

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This thing is so … odd. The launch is the least stressful part of getting JWST to space and deployed. I mean … I know the minutes of terror for the Mars rovers were something but there are so many things that can go wrong with this.

I will still be watching any web stream that is up. :slight_smile:

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This thing is absolutely crazy, so many potential points of failure and anyone of them is critical.

It’s going to be absolutely incredible if it works though :crossed_fingers:

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