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James Webb Telescope Passes Critical Tests

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-to-go dept.

NASA 82

eldavojohn writes "The Hubble Telescope's successor reached a milestone today as it passed a critical design review. The James Webb Space Telescope was originally set to launch in 2013 but has run about $1B over budget and has been pushed back to a 2014 launch. Today's good news means that there shouldn't be further delays as the JWST has accomplished all science and engineering requirements for all mission-critical design functionality. Scientists, of course, think these delays and costs 'pale in comparison to the secrets of the universe the James Webb Space Telescope is expected to unlock.' These are exciting times for many realms of science, even if we're somewhat saddened by it being the loyal Hubble's twilight hours."

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taco passes critical FAGGOT test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058738)

see here [slashdot.org] for details!

Hubble vs James Webb (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060806)

Just asking:

Anyone knows what are the capabilities of James Webb telescope, as compared to the (upgraded) Hubble telescope that we have been using?

If the James Webb telescope is better, in what way it is better?

Just asking, and thanks !

Re:Hubble vs James Webb (1)

boot_img (610085) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062660)

- Larger mirror than HST so more sensitivity (can see fainter stars and galaxies), and better angular resolution (diffraction limit).
- Infrared optimized. Because of thermal backgrounds, infrared is best done from space. (HST has some IR capability though)

Re:Hubble vs James Webb (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32063502)

The James Web telescope isn't competing with or replacing Hubble, the JWST is an infrared telescope, and will see completly different things to Hubble, including the very first stars and galaxies whos light was been red shifted down to infra-red.

---

Astronomy Feed [feeddistiller.com] @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (-1, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058820)

Help, this is the first time I ever had the chance to make the first comment... what do I do... I’m so unprepared... HELP.
Ok, maybe I can at least lead the way for people using me to get on top. ;)

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058856)

Now I feel bad. Wait, I’ll at least come up with something interesting:

----------

Why is this the end of Hubble? Does Hubble not have a stable orbit by itself? It could at least continue doing work for a couple of years.
Also it’s sad that Hubble never gets to see a museum from the inside, isn’t it? It would deserve it.

I’m excited about the James Webb. Since it is one step further to something that almost sounds surreal:
In our lifetimes, telescopes will become advanced enough, to be able to see lifeforms on other planets with a better resolution than Google earth/maps right now.
Think about that for a minute... Just wow.

We often talk about how bad everything is. But there are also really great things. And this is one of them. :)

----------

Ok, did I do my duty? *hopes* Are we good?

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058968)

Looks like you fail interesting, too.

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (0, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059172)

Can anyone explain to me, how the very first comment containing some actual content, is redundant? (A: It’s not.)

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (-1, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059186)

P.S.: And Troll?? Seriously? Have you even read what I wrote?
This really proves, that the whole moderating system doesn’t mean shit, if the moderators themselves are not properly moderated too. (Metamoderation is not proper. Because nobody does it. Metamoderation should be done right here, right now. And also metamoderatable.)

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059286)

Dude. You have lost/will lose 8 points being "offtopic". Maybe you should shut up and go back to smoking pot now. And don't post again until tomorrow.

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059766)

Dude. He *was* on-topic on the reply to his own post. Troll probably was a tad harsh there. There's a lot of pent up frustration on slashdot lately!

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32062280)

A long time ago the Slashdot commanders decided that if you were ever found to post non-politically correct things about the AMERICAN LIFE AND ITS TRUE VALUES you'd be stripped from moderation points, ever, even though you (in the old Karma system) were top ranked.

Some years after that, meta-moderation disappeared as well.

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32065238)

So that's what happened
I was wondering why I never get mod points anymore
Seems since I critiqued my government for being corrupt and in the pockets of multinational corporations .. hmmm

Time to fork /. and start another nerd site

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32065196)

Your post was not troll
Just that slashdot only gives modpoints to stupid assholes anymore
Don't take it personally
With great responsibility comes great incompetence

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070188)

Oh I get it. The joke just was waaayyyy over your head! Nice EPIC FAIL dude! ^^

Seems that also any sufficiently advanced joke is indistinguishable from a troll. ^^

But hey, about how much I care: My Karma: Still Excellent. ^^ So Fuck you motherfucker [youtube.com] ! :D

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061066)

I’m excited about the James Webb. Since it is one step further to something that almost sounds surreal: In our lifetimes, telescopes will become advanced enough, to be able to see lifeforms on other planets with a better resolution than Google earth/maps right now. Think about that for a minute... Just wow.

Oh Great... You just know where this will lead... Intragalactic goatse...

Re:Me? Oh wow. Thanks. *takes cup* (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061740)

WTF?
Why is this thoughtful comment considered "troll"?

Too bad I am a "Karma Badd" dude...
OTOH, perhaps it's just as well- /. is becoming a trollhaven... Time I moved on.

Hubble II (1)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058826)

It is a pity more isn't put into projects like this - I personally feel that we've have learnt so much from Hubbble that it is, at least for the time being, the best option for space exploration. But what wil happen to Hubble? Surely it will retain some functionality into the future?

Re:Hubble II (4, Informative)

ogre7299 (229737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058912)

It is a pity more isn't put into projects like this - I personally feel that we've have learnt so much from Hubbble that it is, at least for the time being, the best option for space exploration. But what wil happen to Hubble? Surely it will retain some functionality into the future?

They'll keep Hubble going as long as they can since its capabilities aren't going to be duplicated by any mission within the next decade. The weak link of the telescope seems to be the gyroscopes, which are used to point the telescope. They'll probably fail before the instruments have completely failed.

Re:Hubble II (1)

iso-cop (555637) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059498)

Hubble has another 5-10 years depending on built-in engineering margin and good or bad fortune.

Re:Hubble II (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060010)

Would I be right in saying that no African country will EVER produce a space rocket?

I wonder why that is...

Welcome to YOUR children's future...

Third world people = third world country.

Re:Hubble II -1 offtopic turd eater poodle boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32061558)

Would I be right in saying that no African country will EVER produce a space rocket?

All people are genetically African, but since you will never produce a rocket or a coherent idea it might be better if we replaced you with a poodle that does tricks for liver treats. In fact, you'd make a pretty good doggy snausages liver treat for dogs that enjoy fatty road kill turd weasels and other twatty bigot morons.

Re:Hubble II (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060402)

"They'll keep Hubble going as long as they can since its capabilities aren't going to be duplicated by any mission within the next decade."

They will keep Hubble going for as long as possible. However it's capabilities will be greatly surpassed by both the Webb and the E-ELT [youtube.com] within the next decade. We are living in a golden age of astronomy, when I was a kid in the 60's-70's the largest telescope in the world boasted a 0.5 meter mirror, the E-ELT will have a 42 meter mirror.

Re:Hubble II (1)

Power_Pentode (1123285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061600)

...when I was a kid in the 60's-70's the largest telescope in the world boasted a 0.5 meter mirror...

I presume that you meant 5 meters (the 200 inch Hale at Mt. Palomar)?

Re:Hubble II (1)

hansendw (455552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32063264)

Unless you were a kid before 1908.... Mt. Wilson was 60" (1.5 meter)

Re:Hubble II (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32084542)

Yes I did mean 5 meters, and I was thinking of the Hale.

Re:Hubble II (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32073832)

The 1860s?

Re:Hubble II (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058944)

It was destroyed by Philip J. Fry in the First Omicronian Invasion of Earth because it looked like an Omicronian Ship.

Re:Hubble II (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059096)

We shall all remember Bender's martini

Re:Hubble II (1, Interesting)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059618)

The Webb telescope is estimated to cost around $4.5 billion and have a life span of 5-10 years. The ISS will cost over $100 billion over 30 years and we will have spent $174 billion in almost 30 years of shuttle service when it retires.

If we built several space telescopes instead of 1 every 20-30 years, we would have less money for shuttle and ISS missions. That would mean that we would not answer such burning questions as:

- Do mice get osteoporosis in space? (link [nasa.gov] )
- Do LANs work in space? (link [nasa.gov] )
- How do people deal with the vibrations of a space launch? (link [nasa.gov] )
- The genetic changes in yeast in space. () [nasa.gov]

When you are up against such ground breaking breakthroughs as these, you can see how it is tough to scrape together the cash to study trivial things like the origin of the universe and whether there are other inhabitable planets in the galaxy.

All sarcasm aside, you are right to point that manned missions do not give you more bang for the buck from a science perspective. We would know alot more about the universe if we had half a dozen space telescopes in orbit and more rovers on various planets and moons.

Re:Hubble II (3, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059958)

If that's the worst you could find, I'm not impressed.

Do mice get osteoporosis in space? (link)

If we want to put people into space, questions like the health effects of being there is rather important.

And they test on mice, because you can kill it and examine all the bones in detail. I'm sure they do checks of the astronaut's bones as well, but you can do much more invasive examinations of a mouse.

Do LANs work in space? (link)

It seems to me this is a test of the IIS' specific LAN, not LANs in general. Things in space have to be specially designed, I'm pretty sure it's not a normal off the shelf switch what they have up there. And any lessons learned there will be probably useful for future things. I don't know if space telescopes use networking internally, but it seems like a possibility.

How do people deal with the vibrations of a space launch? (link)

Well, again, if you want to launch people into space, not killing them while getting there is important. This one seems to also test whether the UI will be readable in launch conditions. Which also seems kind of important, since they may need to interact with it during launch.

The genetic changes in yeast in space. ()

Just like with the mice, it's research of the long term consequences of being in space. Yeast reproduces quickly, too, which is good for genetics research.

When you are up against such ground breaking breakthroughs as these, you can see how it is tough to scrape together the cash to study trivial things like the origin of the universe and whether there are other inhabitable planets in the galaxy.

Ok, and how do you go inhabit a planet, if you don't know whether the astronauts will be able to deal with launch conditions, not die of cancer due to the radiation during the travel, and retain enough bone mass to avoid breaking their legs during the landing?

I vaguely remember hearing that atronauts' health deteriorates significantly after staying on the IIS for a long time. If we're going to land on another planet we'd have to be sure that the astronauts will be in good enough condition to do whatever needs to be done once they land.

Re:Hubble II (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061782)

Hey- don't fall for this troll's comments.
He's just trying to excite /.ers. Who, I am gradually starting to realize, are becoming more and more composed of trashdot.

Re:Hubble II (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062078)

And they test on mice, because you can kill it and examine all the bones in detail. I'm sure they do checks of the astronaut's bones as well, but you can do much more invasive examinations of a mouse.

Ah science at it's worst, humans murdering and torturing other species and somehow justifying it on bettering themselves.

Re:Hubble II (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062410)

So...you're volunteering to go up there so we can cut you open afterwards?

Uhuh? Wasn't thinking so either.

Re:Hubble II (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32068264)

Well, just the other day I was throwing out a dead mouse while learning nothing useful except that there is at least one way into the house still.
Quite a waste in comparison.

Re:Hubble II (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060026)

We DO have half a dozen space telescopes in orbit. Right now.

1. Chandra
2. Fermi
3. Spitzer
4. Hubble
5. Wilkinson
6. Herschel

If the goal is "to understand alot [sic] more of the universe," why are you limiting your telescopes to optical and NIR?

It's not smooth sailing from here (4, Insightful)

jdhutchins (559010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058922)

The article states that the JWST passed the Mission Critical Design Review, which is a specific event, not just a "critical review". This review means that the entire spacecraft has been designed and analyzed. However, there are likely to be further delays as hardware is built and engineers realize it doesn't quite meet the expectations that the analysis set out for it.

Further delays will be greatly discouraged (1)

sk999 (846068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059202)

Schedule will mean everything from now on. Schedule = $$. If the hardware doesn't quite meet expectations, work-arounds will be sought.

It is also worth pointing out that CDR is an event (as the parent states), not a "test" (as the article title alleges).

Typical government failure. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058960)

Holy crap, $1 *BILLION* dollars over budget? For the love of christ, now all you statist morons know why those of us with more than 2 brain cells to rub together flock to the flag of libertarianism. Private companies could have built and launched this telescope by now and probably would have been a billion UNDER budget. Instead, we give this work to incompetent government workers who wouldn't know a telescope from a hole in the ground. How pathetic. Another worthless government failure.

Re:Typical government failure. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059004)

Hello, troll. Some points.

1. Private contractors (including Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace) have participated in this telescope's creation. Thus, much of the telescope has indeed been built by private companies.

2. A billion dollars is relatively insignificant with respect to the total US budget.

3. NASA engineers are extremely competent.

4. You're a stupid troll who wouldn't know practical approaches to running a country from silly fantasies involving the free market.

Re:Typical government failure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32062010)

You're a fascist who doesn't believe that a country can equitably run itself without interference.

Re:Typical government failure. (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062260)

2. A billion dollars is relatively insignificant with respect to the total US budget.

As the saying goes ...

"A billion here and a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money. " --- Senator Everett Dirksen

Re:Typical government failure. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059008)

Holy crap, $1 *BILLION* dollars over budget? For the love of christ, now all you statist morons know why those of us with more than 2 brain cells to rub together flock to the flag of libertarianism. Private companies could have built and launched this telescope by now and probably would have been a billion UNDER budget. Instead, we give this work to incompetent government workers who wouldn't know a telescope from a hole in the ground. How pathetic. Another worthless government failure.

Private companies are building it

Re:Typical government failure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059012)

Riiiiiight. Like the way Perkin-Elmer did such a good job on Hubble.

Space Battleship James Webb (3, Funny)

listentoreason (1726940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059050)

Wise up, people. That's not a telescope, it's a wave motion gun [ens-lyon.fr] . Just compare to its predecessor, Space Telescope Yamato [gepinfo.it] - although the main weapon has been moved from a spinal mount to a giant deck emplacement, they're using the same hull layout and even an identical color scheme.

Re:Space Battleship James Webb (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059188)

Ah, Slippery Jim DiGriz, she is attempting to have an illegal space battleship built on a backwoods planet.
I should have known, it's to large for a transport in this day and age ; ).

(Harry Harrison, Astounding, The Misplaced Battleship (1960)).

What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059118)

I'm just wondering out loud, but what's left for this telescope to discover? AFAIUI, Hubble was instrumental (heh) in discovering the background radiation and gravitational lensing, so I'm just wondering if there's some specific theory that astronomers are expecting this new telescope to confirm/deny...?

Re:What's left? (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059340)

From WP: The JWST's primary scientific mission has four main components: to search for light from the first stars and galaxies which formed in the Universe after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, to understand the formation of stars and planetary systems, and to study planetary systems and the origins of life.

Re:What's left? (1)

Moralpanic (557841) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060114)

That's right, there's no more unknowns of the universe left. Hubble solved everything.

Re:What's left? (1)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061376)

IAFAIUI, Hubble was instrumental (heh) in discovering the background radiation...

YDNUIVW. The answer is 350 miles lower than Hubble and a quarter century before its launch - New Jersey in 1964 [wikipedia.org]

Re:What's left? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062806)

Simply, things that are so far away / moving away from us so fast that their light is doppler-shifted into the infrared.

Larger mirror than Hubble (or other previous infrared space telescopes, like Spitzer) means it can gather the light faster than them, or if it exposes for the same length as them, can see fainter objects.

And being in orbit means it doesn't have to worry about which infrared frequencies can make it through the atmosphere.

general question (2, Interesting)

cadience (770683) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059352)

Do long multi-year projects typically take inflation into account for budget overrun analysis?

Re:general question (2, Interesting)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059416)

Yes, when doing a budget for a large project you always use cost units such as FY2010 dollars.

Re:general question (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061346)

Yes, that's standard accounting.
 
That being said, we're going to see a lot more nasty overruns over the next few years because of massive price increases over the last few years. NASA has been badly bitten by this once before, during the early/mid 70's when inflation soared - during the critical early years of Shuttle R&D.

It's NOT a Hubble successor (5, Informative)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059616)

JWST is not a successor to the Hubble Telescope in any sensible way except for the fact
that they are both telescopes and both in space. JWST will look at infrared light between 600
and 28 000 nanometers, mostly way outside of the visible spectrum where Hubble makes its pictures.
We will learn a lot by those IR observations, that's for sure - but JWST does not replace Hubble, it
supplements it.

I really don't know how this "successor to Hubble" thing got started.

Re:It's NOT a Hubble successor (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060482)

Hubble can also see a small portion of the infra-red spectrum. The Webb overlaps Hubble's and part of Spitzer's wavelength in the infra-red and fills a gap in the middle. The 42 Meter ground based E-ELT will be 15X more sensitive than Hubble in the visible spectrum.

Re:It's NOT a Hubble successor (1)

slaingod (1076625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062144)

IIRC I think the likely reason is that the Webb telescope is supposed to allow us to see even further into the 'deep field' region, to much higher red shifts, and consequently closer to the Big Bang. While I agree the Hubble has done many, many things besides that, in the Ultra Deep Field sense, it is the successor.

Re:It's NOT a Hubble successor (1)

thermopylae300 (583506) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066610)

"The man whose name NASA has chosen to bestow upon the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope is most commonly linked to the Apollo moon program, not to science."

First Sentence: http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/whois.html/ [nasa.gov]

ooooooh! It "passed" a "test" ! (2, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059818)

BEfore we wet our pants in excitement, let's remember:

* The Hubble passed a slew of design reviews too.
* Even so, it went up with many, many flaws, including:
* Electronics not shielded well enough to handle the South Atlantic Anomaly.
* Gyroscopes not qualified for the temperature cycles and SAA.
* Solar panels that oilcan buckle when going from sunlight to shade.
* Solar panel mount that does not go through the center of mass of the scope, so oilcan buckling causes the whole thing to oscillate.
* Unbalanced and uncushioned light cap that likewise shakes the whole thing when it's operated.

Although the new scope will have been checked against that list of problems, without major overhaul of the management structure, it's likely the same thing will happen this time.

 

Re:ooooooh! It "passed" a "test" ! (4, Informative)

ogre7299 (229737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059906)

BEfore we wet our pants in excitement, let's remember:

* The Hubble passed a slew of design reviews too.
* Even so, it went up with many, many flaws, including:
* Electronics not shielded well enough to handle the South Atlantic Anomaly.
* Gyroscopes not qualified for the temperature cycles and SAA.
* Solar panels that oilcan buckle when going from sunlight to shade.
* Solar panel mount that does not go through the center of mass of the scope, so oilcan buckling causes the whole thing to oscillate.
* Unbalanced and uncushioned light cap that likewise shakes the whole thing when it's operated.

Although the new scope will have been checked against that list of problems, without major overhaul of the management structure, it's likely the same thing will happen this time.

Granted Hubble had many problems when it launched mainly because it was one of the first and most advanced general purpose observatories launched.

We have had tons of experience building space telescopes over the past 30 years since Hubble was designed and Hubble is the only one that is serviceable by the shuttle.

Just to list all the successful observatories since Hubble:

Infrared Space Observatory (Europe)
Chandra X-Ray observatory
Spitzer Space Telescope
WMAP
FUSE
Herschel Space Observatory (Mostly Europe)
Planck (Europe)
Suzaku X-Ray observatory (Japan)
and probably a few others I forgot about.

Bottom line, we know a lot about building space telescopes now, the doom and gloom you forecast is probably a bit over the top. Every project has problems, that's why we have brilliant engineers to find solutions.

Re:ooooooh! It "passed" a "test" ! (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060528)

People look at these scopes as single instruments but a lot of those scopes (including Hubble) are part of NASA's Great Observatories project [nasa.gov] which aims to cover as much of the EM spectrum as posible. IMHO it has to be the most underrated scientific project on the planet.

Re:ooooooh! It "passed" a "test" ! (1)

Jahmbo (807363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060072)

Not to mention the "spherical aberration" that required the installation of corrective lenses. http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope/nuts_.and._bolts/optics/costar/ [hubblesite.org]

Re:ooooooh! It "passed" a "test" ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32062168)

The really ironic thing is that a 30 second test with a point light source, a knife edge and someone taking the time to look would have shown up the spherical aberration that crippled Hubble.

Re:ooooooh! It "passed" a "test" ! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060578)

it's likely the same thing will happen this time.

Actually it's unlikely since your pessimisim is ignoring the fact that the vast majority of space observatories have operated flawlessly.

from the team that brought you the Hubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060136)

Hopefully they got the focus correct this time, might be more difficult to pull off one of those orbital tech support deals without the shuttle.

Astronomers usually don't grab headlines but I'm starting to have to google these names just to find out who they are (Hubble I've heard of, Spitzer?(I thought he was a swimmer), James Webb?(even have to throw in the first name now lest people start to go Webb who?)).

Re:from the team that brought you the Hubble? (1)

jmak (409787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062352)

Being 4 times farther from Earth than the Moon, JWST won't be serviceable once deployed. Certainly not using the Shuttle.

Re:from the team that brought you the Hubble? (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#32063644)

I have been trying to understand the orbit. I think I understand Lagrange points in broad terms, and why in theory L2 is a good place for it. But, have we ever had objects at L2? How sure are we that L2 will actually work, and will be a safe place for it? And how many objects can we have at L2? If it is really a 'point', there can only be one.

Re:from the team that brought you the Hubble? (1)

bitingduck (810730) | more than 4 years ago | (#32064986)

Herschel and Planck are at L2 now. Spacecraft at L2 don't park exactly on the L2 point, which is unstable, but fly a "quasi-halo" orbit around it, and have propulsion systems that fire occasionally to keep them on the right orbit. The orbits about the L2 point are quite huge, and missions take other missions into account when planning to go there. The stable Lagrange points aren't good places to put spacecraft because other junk accumulates there and can cause collisions with space debris (i.e. rocks).

Re:from the team that brought you the Hubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32072704)

Nicely put. WMAP is also at L2.

delivery? (1)

theSender (1062828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060836)

How does NASA intend to haul it into orbit? I know there are only a couple of shuttle missions left, and I didn't think the Constellation program is due to launch before 2015?

Re:delivery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32061124)

Aries 5 rocket. Probably the best heavy launcher at this time.

Re:delivery? (1)

theSender (1062828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061400)

The Ares I and V are part of the Constellation program that the Pres is trying to cut. Ares V's first launch isn't scheduled until 2018, though I agree it is an awesome piece of hardware.

Re:delivery? (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066766)

I think you meant an Ariane 5.

Re:delivery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32072886)

Yep - it will be an Ariane 5.

http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/launch.html

Timely article (2, Interesting)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060954)

My last day at Goddard Space Flight Center was yesterday. (almost 10 years!) I finally got around to getting a friend to give me a tour of the Spacecraft Systems Design and Integration Facility, where I got to see JWST parts in the clean room. (heh, 20 minutes of gowning procedures for a 10 minute trip into the clean room.) Very, very cool. Gonna miss that place.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to follow JWST a lot more heavily now, too many friends are involved in it to ignore it as I have been.

(Sadly, for what were apparently ITAR reasons I couldn't get pictures.)

Re:Timely article (2, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32062850)

I'd love to see JWST. I used to work in astronomy at one of the universities involved in developing the CCD sensors for NIRCam and was around the prototype camera they built with the first few chips off Rockwell's fab, for testing on the terrestrial telescope I operated, but it's just not the same as seeing something that's going into space.

(Incidentally, that prototype camera was built around 2003ish. They wanted to be sure the chips worked well before launching.)

Re:Timely article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32072218)

You can watch the cleanroom the above poster toured on our webcam. I know it's not exactly the same, but it's real time!

http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/webcam.html

Also we have some photos of the cleanroom here:
http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/images_cleanroom.html
http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/images_isim.html

Enjoy!

Re:Timely article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066406)

No need to gown up. You can see pretty much everything from the viewing area on the second floor of Building 7. Besides, none of the really interesting flight hardware is at Goddard yet. Come back in a year! As long as you are a US citizen, your friends can badge you in at the front gate.

As for ITAR... Your own pictures a big no-no. But there's a Webcam that allows the public a view into the clean room.

http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/webcam.html [nasa.gov]

-or- you can just view the video of them bringing in ISIM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-khjtVC5pk [youtube.com]

Re:Timely article (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067844)

No need to gown up. You can see pretty much everything from the viewing area on the second floor of Building 7.

Yes, I know, but something about the human spirit makes seeing it from the other side of the glass not quite as enjoyable as in person.

As long as you are a US citizen, your friends can badge you in at the front gate.

I'm not leaving the agency, just GSFC. I was, in fact, invited back next year when more interesting parts have been accumulated.

Demos are fun (1)

skoda (211470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32063934)

From the article, "This month, ITT Corp. in Rochester, N.Y., demonstrated robotic mirror installation equipment designed to position segments on the backplane."

I'm pleased to say that I was one of the individuals giving that demo to the JWST review team :) And kudos to the team for assembling quite the system for integrating the segments.

Re:Demos are fun (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32073884)

Now we just need to launch it.
I put the odds at less than 50% that it will launch but I am in a pessimistic mood.

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