NASA just delayed the launch of its most powerful tool until 2020


Everyone loves gawking at the gorgeous photos NASA gathers from its various spacecraft. They deliver breathtaking views of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter on a regular basis, and the James Webb Space Telescope promises to provide glimpses of distant worlds with greater clarity and detail than ever before. The telescope was slated to launch in 2019, but NASA announced today that its debut is being pushed back into 2020.

The James Webb is the heir apparent to the Hubble Space Telescope which is creeping up on its 28th birthday. While its tools aren’t a direct replacement for those aboard the Hubble, the James Webb is in a completely different league when it comes to overall power. Unfortunately for all of us, we’ll now have to wait a while longer before we see it in action.

The new launch timeline is the result of an independent assessment of the spacecraft which cited numerous issues regarding the integration of its highly complex components. According to NASA, the individual systems are all up to snuff, but testing revealed that they don’t play together as well as they should. Given that the project carries a price tag of around $8 billion, it’s important to get everything right before sending the telescope skyward. – READ MORE

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