Author Topic: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - Discussion and Updates  (Read 159987 times)

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #40 on: 11/11/2010 12:34 AM »
MEDIA ADVISORY: M10-160

NASA HOLDS TELECONFERENCE ABOUT SPACE TELESCOPE REVIEW REPORT
{snip}

Copies of the report will be available at 5 p.m. at:

http://www.nasa.gov/reports

Direct link:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/499224main_JWST-ICRP_Report-FINAL.pdf
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #41 on: 11/11/2010 03:45 AM »
RELEASE: 10-297

NASA ADMINISTRATOR BOLDEN STATEMENT ON THE WEBB TELESCOPE

WASHINGTON -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden made the following
statement today on the release of an independent panel's review of
the James Webb Space Telescope project:

"I appreciate the work done by the James Webb Space Telescope's (JWST)
Independent Comprehensive Review Panel (ICRP), and want to thank Sen.
Barbara Mikulski for initiating this review. The ICRP report makes
clear that, while JWST technical performance has been consistent with
the project plan, the cost performance and coordination have been
lacking, and I agree with these findings.

"No one is more concerned about the situation we find ourselves in
than I am, and that is why I am reorganizing the JWST Project at
Headquarters and the Goddard Space Flight Center, and assigning a new
senior manager at Headquarters to lead this important effort. The new
JWST program director will have a staff of technical and cost
personnel provided by the Science Mission Directorate and report to
the NASA associate administrator. This will ensure more direct
reporting to me and increase the project's visibility within the
agency's management structure. Additionally, the Goddard Space Flight
Center's project office has been reorganized to report directly to
the center director. That office is undergoing personnel changes to
specifically address the issues identified in the report.

"I am encouraged the ICRP verified our assessment that JWST is
technically sound, and that the project continues to make progress
and meet its milestones. However, I am disappointed we have not
maintained the level of cost control we strive to achieve --
something the American taxpayer deserves in all of our projects.

"NASA is committed to finding a sustainable path forward for the
program based on realistic cost and schedule assessments. I would
like to express my appreciation to the ICRP's chair, John Casani, and
the rest of the team for producing an objective, unbiased and
comprehensive assessment."

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #42 on: 02/14/2011 08:56 PM »
$64 million has been proposed to cut from the program:

Quote
The James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble, is among those programs. Obama wants to cut $64 million from the program, which an independent group of experts found to have a "fundamentally broken estimate of cost and schedule."

So much for inspiration....

http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/14/news/economy/wacky_budget_cuts/index.htm?hpt=T2
« Last Edit: 02/14/2011 08:56 PM by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline rdale

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #43 on: 02/14/2011 09:35 PM »

Quote
"fundamentally broken estimate of cost and schedule."

So much for inspiration....

Actually it's a GREAT inspiration to come to the table with accurate budget estimates and a good management team.

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #44 on: 02/14/2011 10:52 PM »
$64 million has been proposed to cut from the program:

Quote
The James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble, is among those programs. Obama wants to cut $64 million from the program, which an independent group of experts found to have a "fundamentally broken estimate of cost and schedule."

So much for inspiration....

http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/14/news/economy/wacky_budget_cuts/index.htm?hpt=T2

And from Budget Briefing Presentation, Feb. 14, 2011
(http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/516684main_FY12_summary_Budget_Briefing_final_21411_rev1.pdf):

"NASA is developing a revised program plan that includes a realistic assessment of schedule and lifecycle cost.
– The revised schedule and lifecycle cost will be reflected in the 2013 Budget request."

They're getting their house in order, and about time. Throwing money at a problem, over and over again, doesn't solve it.
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #45 on: 02/14/2011 11:46 PM »

Quote
"fundamentally broken estimate of cost and schedule."

So much for inspiration....

Actually it's a GREAT inspiration to come to the table with accurate budget estimates and a good management team.

It's a conundrum.  When you are building the first of something, and you have to invent some of the technology to do it, you might want to take a good budget estimate and multiply it by pi.  But if you do that at the beginning of the program, you won't get funded.  Tough problem.

Offline bob the martian

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #46 on: 02/15/2011 10:30 PM »

Quote
"fundamentally broken estimate of cost and schedule."

So much for inspiration....

Actually it's a GREAT inspiration to come to the table with accurate budget estimates and a good management team.

It's a conundrum.  When you are building the first of something, and you have to invent some of the technology to do it, you might want to take a good budget estimate and multiply it by pi.  But if you do that at the beginning of the program, you won't get funded.  Tough problem.

One project manager I knew used that method.  When I asked why he used pi instead of 3, he said, "an irrational schedule calls for an irrational number." 

But yeah, it's a tough problem; engineering and politics don't mesh well.

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #47 on: 04/14/2011 02:13 AM »
04.13.11

Two Kinds of Webb Telescope Mirrors Arrive at NASA Goddard

It takes two unique types of mirrors working together to see farther back in time and space than ever before, and engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have just received one of each type. Primary and Secondary Mirror Engineering Design Units (EDUs) have recently arrived at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. from Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, Calif. and are undergoing examination and testing. When used on the James Webb Space Telescope those two types of mirrors will allow scientists to make those observations.

"The Primary mirror EDU will be used next year to check out optical test equipment developed by Goddard and slated to be used to test the full Flight Primary mirror," said Lee Feinberg, the Optical Telescope Element Manager for the Webb telescope at NASA Goddard. "Following that, the primary and secondary EDU's will actually be assembled onto the Pathfinder telescope. The Pathfinder telescope includes two primary mirror segments (one being the Primary EDU) and the Secondary EDU and allows us to check out all of the assembly and test procedures (that occur both at Goddard and testing at Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas) well in advance of the flight telescope assembly and test."

The primary mirror is actually composed of 18 smaller hexagonal mirrors that are assembled together into what appears to be a giant hexagon that sits atop the Webb telescope's sunshield. Webb Telescope's scientists and engineers determined that a primary mirror measuring 6.5 meters (21 feet 4 inches) across is what was needed to measure the light from these distant galaxies. Each of these mirrors is constructed from beryllium, a light and strong metal. Each of the 18 mirror segments weighs approximately 20 kilograms (46 pounds).

Why are the mirrors hexagonal shaped? Because a hexagon allows a segmented mirror to fit together without gaps. When Webb's primary mirror is focused on a distant star for example, that image will appear in all 18 mirror segments. To focus on the star and get one image, the mirror segments can then be tilted to align the 18 separate images into a single image.

Although there are 18 segments, there are three different optical prescriptions for the 18 segments: six segments of each prescription. The segment received is the first of the "A" prescription segments for which a total of 7 will be made - 6 flight and 1 spare. A prescription is similar to an eyeglass prescription and specifies a unique mirror curvature. Like eyeglasses, mirrors with the same prescription are interchangeable.

The primary mirror EDU that arrived at Goddard is also a flight spare. That means it can be used on the actual telescope. In fact, it could even be put on the telescope now if needed.

The primary mirror segment has already been cleaned and coated. Ball Aerospace & Technologies cleaned the mirror segment and Quantum Coating, Inc., in Moorestown, N.J., coated it. Ball Aerospace then took the mirror segment back, reassembled it with mounts and actuators and conducted final vibration testing.

Afterward, the mirror segment went back to the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility (XRCF) in Huntsville, Ala., where Ball performed final cryogenic acceptance testing on the segment before it came to NASA Goddard.

The secondary mirror on the Webb telescope will direct the light from the primary mirror to where it can be collected by the Webb's instruments. The secondary mirror is connected to "arms" that position it in front of the 18 primary mirror segments. It will focus all of the light from the 18 primary mirrors.

The secondary EDU at Goddard is not coated but can be, so it can be a flight spare once coated.

Eventually, the final flight mirrors will all come to NASA Goddard and be assembled on the telescope and the instrument module. Then, as a complete unit it will undergo acoustic and vibration testing at Goddard.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, Webb will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the very first galaxies ever formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/two-webb-mirrors.html
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #48 on: 04/15/2011 01:32 AM »
Of course this is making the rounds on the other sites, so linking it up here:

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110412-jwst-launch-2018.html

"NASA Chief Suggests JWST Won’t Launch before 2018"

based on comments from the 2012 appropriations committee meeting.
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #49 on: 04/15/2011 10:35 PM »
NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope Marks Key Milestone

04.14.11

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The first six of 18 segments that will form NASA's James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror for space observations will begin final round-the-clock cryogenic testing this week. These tests will confirm the mirrors will respond as expected to the extreme temperatures of space prior to integration into the telescope's permanent housing structure.

The X-ray and Cryogenic Facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. will provide the space-like environment to help engineers measure how well the telescope will image infrared sources once in orbit.

Each mirror segment measures approximately 4.3 feet (1.3 meters) in diameter to form the 21.3 foot (6.5 meters), hexagonal telescope mirror assembly critical for infrared observations. Each of the 18 hexagonal-shaped mirror assemblies weighs approximately 88 pounds (40 kilograms). The mirrors are made of a light and strong metal called beryllium, and coated with a microscopically thin coat of gold to enabling the mirror to efficiently collect light.

"The six flight mirrors sitting ready for cryogenic acceptance tests have been carefully polished to their exact prescriptions," said Helen Cole, project manager for Webb activities at Marshall. "It's taken the entire mirror development team, including all the partners, over eight years of fabrication, polishing and cryogenic testing to get to this point."

During cryogenic testing, the mirrors are subjected to extreme temperatures dipping to minus 415 degrees Fahrenheit (-248C) in a 7,600 cubic-foot (approximately 215 cubic meter) helium-cooled vacuum chamber. This permits engineers to measure in extreme detail how the shape of the mirror changes as it cools. This simulates the actual processes each mirror will undergo as it changes shape over a range of operational temperatures in space.

"This final cryotest is expected to confirm the exacting processes that have resulted in flight mirrors manufactured to tolerances as tight as 20 nanometers, or less than one millionth of an inch," said Scott Texter, Webb Optical Telescope element manager at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, Calif.

A second set of six mirror assemblies will arrive at Marshall in July to begin testing, and the final set of six will arrive during the fall.

The Webb Telescope is NASA's next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope designed, Webb will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the very first galaxies ever formed and help identify unexplored planets around distant stars. The telescope will orbit approximately one million miles from Earth.

"The Webb telescope continues to make good technological progress," said Rick Howard, JWST Program Director in Washington. "We’re currently developing a new baseline cost and schedule to ensure the success of the program."

The telescope is a combined project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor under NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., is responsible for mirror development. L-3- Tinsley Laboratories Inc. in Richmond, Calif. is responsible for mirror grinding and polishing.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/jwst/11-111.html
...................

Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1920.html
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #50 on: 06/30/2011 05:58 PM »
RELEASE: 11-210

NASA COMPLETES MIRROR POLISHING FOR JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

WASHINGTON -- Mirrors are a critical part of a telescope. The quality
is crucial, so completion of mirror polishing represents a major
milestone. All of the mirrors that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb
Space Telescope have been polished so the observatory can see objects
as far away as the first galaxies in the universe.

The Webb telescope is comprised of four types of mirrors. The primary
one has an area of approximately 25 square meters (29.9 square
yards), which will enable scientists to capture light from faint,
distant objects in the universe faster than any previous space
observatory. The mirrors are made of Beryllium and will work together
to relay images of the sky to the telescope's science cameras.

"Webb's mirror polishing always was considered the most challenging
and important technological milestone in the manufacture of the
telescope, so this is a hugely significant accomplishment," said Lee
Feinberg, Webb Optical Telescope manager at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The mirrors were polished at the L3 Integrated Optical Systems -
Tinsley in Richmond, Calif. to accuracies of less than one millionth
of an inch. That accuracy is important for forming the sharpest
images when the mirrors cool to -400°F (-240°C) in the cold of space.


"The completion of the mirror polishing shows that the strategy of
doing the hardest things first has really paid off," said Nobel Prize
Winner John C. Mather, Webb's senior project scientist at Goddard.
"Some astronomers doubted we could make these mirrors."

After polishing, the mirrors are being coated with a microscopically
thin layer of gold to enable them to efficiently reflect infrared
light. NASA has completed coating 13 of 18 primary mirror segments
and will complete the rest by early next year. The 18 segments fit
together to make one large mirror 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) across.

"This milestone is the culmination of a decade-long process," said
Scott Willoughby, vice president and Webb Telescope Program manager
for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We had to invent an entire
new mirror technology to give Webb the ability to see back in time."

Northrop Grumman Corp. in Redondo Beach, Calif. is the telescope's
prime contractor.

As the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb telescope is
the world's next-generation space observatory. It is the most
powerful space telescope ever built. More than 75 percent of its
hardware is either in production or undergoing testing. The telescope
will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images
of the first galaxies ever formed and study planets around distant
stars. NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency
are collaborating on this project.

For related images and more information about the mirrors, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/webb-mirrors-done.html


To view the "Behind the Webb: Wax on, Wax Off" video explaining the
mirror polishing process, visit:


http://webbtelescope.org/webb_telescope/behind_the_webb/10


For more information about the James Webb Space Telescope, visit:


http://www.jwst.nasa.gov   



Online docmordrid

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #51 on: 07/07/2011 05:32 AM »
Brian Berger, Deputy Editor at Space News, has Tweeted:

"House CJS mark also terminates funding for [JWST] , which is billions of dollars over budget and plagued by poor management"

Also-

http://spacenews.com/civil/110706-nasa-budget-cancel-webb.html

Quote
NASA Budget Bill Would Cancel Webb Telescope

WASHINGTON — The House appropriations panel that oversees NASA unveiled a 2012 spending bill July 6 that would pull the plug on the budget-busting James Webb Space Telescope as part of a broader $1.6 billion cut that would roll back spending on the nation’s civil space program to pre-2008 levels.
>
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Offline ginahoy

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Offline big_gazza

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #53 on: 07/07/2011 10:56 AM »
This is truly insane, and far more short-sighted than the shuttle retirement (without first flying a replacement).  If money is a problem, lets trim some of the 700+ billion dollars that the feds pour into the bloated military.

Offline gospacex

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #54 on: 07/07/2011 12:27 PM »
This is truly insane, and far more short-sighted than the shuttle retirement (without first flying a replacement).

How do you propose to put a stop to budget busting if you continually bail out those who bust the budget (and therefore penalize those programs which propose realistic budgets from the start and aren't selected)?

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #55 on: 07/07/2011 12:30 PM »
If money is a problem, lets trim some of the 700+ billion dollars that the feds pour into the bloated military.

It is not bloated, it is over exended.

Online docmordrid

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #56 on: 07/07/2011 02:08 PM »
This is truly insane, and far more short-sighted than the shuttle retirement (without first flying a replacement).

How do you propose to put a stop to budget busting if you continually bail out those who bust the budget (and therefore penalize those programs which propose realistic budgets from the start and aren't selected)?

Exactly. If we have to cut, and we do, then the vampire programs have to go first. Given the last "progress" report documenting schedule slippages, overruns etc. JWST definitely is showing signs of fangs. Letting it go on would just suck the life out of other worthy programs.

Hell, by the time it actually flew tech advances may have rendered it redundant.
« Last Edit: 07/07/2011 02:12 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline Prober

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #57 on: 07/07/2011 02:53 PM »
This is truly insane, and far more short-sighted than the shuttle retirement (without first flying a replacement).  If money is a problem, lets trim some of the 700+ billion dollars that the feds pour into the bloated military.

Please keep in mind the military is involved in conflicts.  Give the people involved some respect as they are putting their lives on the line.

If your serious about cutting push for cutting Libya interests. 
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Offline SpacemanInSPACE

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #58 on: 07/07/2011 06:14 PM »
Are they shifting funds from the JWST or just cutting it from NASA's budget. Given the unsuspectedly low pre-2008 levels, I'm assuming the latter.
Space is worth it God Damnit!

Offline big_gazza

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Re: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope - updates
« Reply #59 on: 07/08/2011 06:02 AM »
This is truly insane, and far more short-sighted than the shuttle retirement (without first flying a replacement).  If money is a problem, lets trim some of the 700+ billion dollars that the feds pour into the bloated military.

Please keep in mind the military is involved in conflicts.  Give the people involved some respect as they are putting their lives on the line.

If your serious about cutting push for cutting Libya interests. 

No, the 700+ billion does not include war-fighting costs, maintenance of nuclear weapons, homeland security or veterans affairs.  Add these items in and its a cool $1 trillion.

As for "respect", did I in any way show any disrespect? Or are you just overly sensitive to perceived criticism?

Quite frankly, opinions like this baffle and amaze me. The US spends nearly as much as the rest of the world combined, yet when budgetary belt-tightening rears its ugly head, it is incredible projects of national (or worldwide) significance that are threatened.  I'm hardly surprised that JWST is over budget. NASA is building something that has never been attempted before, either in scale or complexity, and these great works do not come cheap. Consider the discoveries made by HST over the years, and then imagine what JWST will uncover.

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