Author Topic: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion  (Read 130811 times)

Offline muomega0

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #220 on: 12/07/2011 02:18 pm »
Quote
I tend to agree that scrapping JWST would be the best way to go, especially with the budget boom rapidly coming down.

Quote
As far as I can tell from the 2006 GAO report and last year's Cassani report (both attached), better management of the project would have produced more accurate (higher) budget estimates but would not have greatly reduced cost.  Eliminating the folding mirror by reducing mirror size or using a larger launch vehicle would reduce cost somewhat, but the folding mirror is only one of several difficult technologies required, including the large folding sunshade, which would be required regardless of launch-vehicle diameter, and the light-weight optics.

Bottom line… No one was fired…  What a country!! ::)

What caused the increase in 2011 and 2012?

Congress cut the budget in FY09 by $100M, causing a 1B increase?!  Who should be fired? 

Project Status – it is not the mirrors or Instruments

http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/status.html
Mirrors:  98%    Instruments 90%    Sunshield 10%  Spacecraft Bus 25%  Assembly/Testing 3%

From Illingworth:  “The mirrors and their backplane support were recognized early in the program as being a particularly difficult area, but the decision to work these early was a wise one”

The leaves the sunshield, the Bus, Assembly and Testing

Was it Technical Performance?

From the 2nd attachment of a previous post, 2010 Assessment Executive Summary, also given here http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/499224main_JWST-ICRP_Report-FINAL.pdf

"The problems causing cost growth and schedule delays on the JWST Project are associated with budgeting and program management, not technical performance. The technical performance on the Project has been commendable and often excellent"

From the website:  www.nasa.jwst.gov
All mission enabling technologies were demonstrated by January 2007"

Why is the Sunshield only at 10% Completion? -- A subscale model  was built

http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/status.html
“As with Webb's other components, the sunshield has to undergo testing to prove it's ready for space. But a full, tennis court-sized sunshield, consisting of five layers of Kapton coated in either silicon or aluminum, would be too big to be tested in a cryogenic chamber. None large enough exist, and building a chamber just to test the sunshield would be impractical. So engineers constructed a 1/3-scale model to perform the testing.”

In the shuttle world, assembly level thermal testing is not required, unlike structural testing.  So why thermal testing?

Illingworth – “Unlike Hubble, JWST cannot be serviced and so post-launch opportunities to rectify problems are not available to us.  Since JWST operates at such a cold temperature and is so large, the testing regimen is comprehensive and lengthy”.

The sunshield appears to have no real issues as shown in these videos—but from statements above the technical performance is sound, even after all this handling on the ground. http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/sunshield.html

Comment:  What a lost opportunity for a great mission by HSF to perform servicing in BEO :(.  Instead, HSF is developing  5 segment boosters,  which will be replaced by the to-be-developed liquid boosters, and building an HLV, which is not needed..... ::)

Did Congressional budget actions cause costs to grow?

What are the costs and why did they grow?

Back to the Executive Summary of the 2010 Assessment

"First, the budget presented by the Project at Confirmation was flawed because it was not based upon a current bottoms-up estimate and did not include the known threats"

"Second, the reserves provided were too low because they were established against a baseline budget that was too low, and in addition, because of budget constraints, were too low in the year of Confirmation and the year following (less than 20%) the two highest expenditure years"

Why did costs grow 1B? because of 100M cut by Congress?
The two attached plots (Fig 5.3 and 5.6 from JWST report) show the cascade effect of Congressional Changes to the Budget

Dollars by FY Planned (reading from a chart, so may be slightly off)
FY 02 to FY 08:    80   90 220  280  330  400  450    Subtotal  1850M
FY  09 to FY 14  440  430 300  300  280 180             Subtotal  1930M  Total  3820M 
 
Funding in FY09 was cut by 100M, here is what happened:
                                       09   10   11  12   13   14
   Original Plan                440 430 300 300 280 180   Subtotal  1930M
FY09 President               350 310 250 230 190    0   Subtotal  1330M
Result of Cut $100M Cut  650 700 580 380 350 330   Subtotal  2990M

So its about 2B from 02 to 08, then about 3B from 09 to 14, and the FY09 President request was 1.3B..

So a $100M cut cost 1B?  What was the President/Congress thinking? 

Now add in 2-3B for operations over its life, so the total is 8B over its lifetime versus 12B for Hubble.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2013 04:48 pm by muomega0 »

Offline Prober

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #221 on: 12/07/2011 04:02 pm »
Watch the video (when avail) it’s a horror story.

Some of the “truth” came out on the JW.   

Started out in the late 80’s as a simple replacement for Hubble with a much smaller mirror cost around 500 million.

Engineers put all types of bells and whistles on the project, and by 2008 when they were to fund building it, JW became a 5 billion dollar mess.

2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline muomega0

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #222 on: 12/07/2011 04:28 pm »
Watch the video (when avail) it’s a horror story.

Some of the “truth” came out on the JW.   

Started out in the late 80’s as a simple replacement for Hubble with a much smaller mirror cost around 500 million.

Engineers put all types of bells and whistles on the project, and by 2008 when they were to fund building it, JW became a 5 billion dollar mess.

The funding profile was approved and known in 2001 (FY02), and had cost 1.85B by end of FY08, with a plan forward of 1.93B (reading from curve so numbers may be slightly off), so 4B, but this did not include the ops costs of about 2B, so the total was in the 6B range, about half of the costs of Hubble at 12B.

Why did you say it began in 2008, when the 4B estimate was already well known, and since the "space craft bus" and "assembly/testing" was not complete, loosely speaking then the ops costs were redirected to this work.

From one perspective, the "mess" started with the President's FY09  budget request that slash funding by about $100M, and about 600M over the program.  IOW, just cut the funding and make it work, but it did not.

It is an established ploy to always request more funding than the budget allows, and the effect is shown in the casade plot above.  The exact opposite was done here, as the budget was cut below the request.  Why?  Did "engineers" agree that the work could be completed with the FY09 request?  Further, any estimate to replace a 12B program with a 500M program certainly would require just a wee bit of skepticism, no? ;)

The real horror story is watching *Government*, non-commercial, budgets manipulated by *market and political forces*, then blaming NASA over and over and over and over and over and over........

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #223 on: 12/07/2011 04:49 pm »
Comment:  What a lost opportunity for a great mission by HSF to perform servicing in BEO :(.  Instead, HSF is developing  5 segment boosters,  which will be replaced by the to-be-developed liquid boosters, and building an HLV, which is not needed..... ::)

such a subjective thing, need...
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Offline muomega0

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #224 on: 12/07/2011 05:27 pm »
Comment:  What a lost opportunity for a great mission by HSF to perform servicing in BEO :(.  Instead, HSF is developing  5 segment boosters,  which will be replaced by the to-be-developed liquid boosters, and building an HLV, which is not needed..... ::)

such a subjective thing, need...
"need....."  I appreciate the subtlety. 

other alternatives are 57B cheaper than SLS over 20 years, refueling stages direct to BEO gateway cost billions more than a LEO ZBO depot architecture over same time frame (regardless of mission sets)...regardless of all the political spin that states otherwise

so i agree, the word "need" should have said "to accomplish the same exploration mission at billions of dollars less-given the same mission sets"

Offline BrightLight

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #225 on: 12/07/2011 10:43 pm »
It appears that space telescope cost scales with distance
0.50$ per light year  :D

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #226 on: 12/08/2011 01:48 pm »
Quote
As far as I can tell from the 2006 GAO report ... better management of the project would have produced more accurate (higher) budget estimates but would not have greatly reduced cost.  Eliminating the folding mirror ... would reduce cost somewhat, but the folding mirror is only one of several difficult technologies required...

Bottom line… No one was fired…

What caused the increase in 2011 and 2012?

(1) Congress cut the budget in FY09 by $100M, causing a 1B increase?!  Who should be fired? 

Project Status: It is not the mirrors or Instruments

(2) Mirrors:  98%    Instruments 90%    Sunshield 10%  Spacecraft Bus 25%  Assembly/Testing 3%

"...The mirrors ... were recognized early in the program as being a particularly difficult area, but the decision to work these early was a wise one”"

The leaves the Sunshield, the Bus, Assembly and Testing

Was it Technical Performance?

"The problems causing cost growth and schedule delays on the JWST Project are associated with budgeting and program management, not technical performance. The technical performance on the Project has been commendable and often excellent"

Why is the Sunshield only at 10% Completion? ...

"As with Webb's other components, the sunshield has to undergo testing ... But a full, tennis court-sized sunshield ... would be too big to be tested in a cryogenic chamber.  None large enough exist, and building a chamber just to test the sunshield would be impractical. So engineers constructed a 1/3-scale model to perform the testing."

In the shuttle world, assembly level thermal testing is not required, unlike structural testing.  So why thermal testing?

"Unlike Hubble, JWST cannot be serviced ...  Since JWST operates at such a cold temperature and is so large, the testing regimen is comprehensive and lengthy”"

The sunshield appears to have no real issues as shown in these videos, but from statements above the technical performance is sound, even after all this handling on the ground.

(3) Comment:  What a lost opportunity for a great mission by HSF to perform servicing in BEO ...

Did Congressional budget actions cause costs to grow?

(4) What are the costs and why did they grow?

Back to the Executive Summary of the 2010 Assessment

"First, the budget presented by the Project at Confirmation was flawed because it was not based upon a current bottoms-up estimate and did not include the known threats"

"Second, the reserves provided were too low because they were established against a baseline budget that was too low, and in addition, because of budget constraints, were too low in the year of Confirmation and the year following (less than 20%) the two highest expenditure years"

Why did costs grow 1B? because of 100M cut by Congress?

(5) The two attached plots show the cascade effect of Congressional Changes to the Budget ...

(1) False, on its very face.  You realize I'm talking about the assertion, not you, not your intentions, nothing about you.  It's not about you; it's about the costs of the program, about the faulty premises of the management of the work flow, and a host of other things, including its ROI.

Any multi yeared public project can have its schedule modified by annual budgets.  True, typically costs would go up, due to inflation.  But the idea that costs legitimately should go up by an order of magnitude with such a paltry cut is simply false.

(2) The sunscreen should have been first.  Without it, the mission is impossible.  Obviously here we are, with the sunscreen apparently at 10% completion.  But it is alleged here and there that the sunscreen is not expensive, and presumably because the 1/3 model demonstrated the workings of the concept adequately, that it is not contributing to the project delays.  What then is?  The percentage completions above do not indicate the dollar value of each of the categories.  My guess is that the last 10% of the instrumentation must then be a lot more than the last 90% of the sunscreen.  Not only that, but the last 97% of testing and assembly must be a huge line item.

But then we find that the 1/3 model was made because a full scale vacuum testing facility was not available.  So I start wondering about testing and assembly, and its necessarily huge costs.  Does this include the design and construction of a full scale, cryogenic vacuum testing facility, where JWST can stretch its wings?  Or are they relying on the model's success as faithfully predicting the success of the full scale sunscreen?

But let's go back for a minute to the sci-fi fantasy of the 1996 $500M replacement for Hubble, which included, obviously, no budgetary provision for full scale cryo vacuum testing.  Who knew what when?  When did some manager notice that the bath water rose when he got in the tub, smacked his forehead, and exclaimed:  "We forgot to properly budget testing and assembly!  Nahhh, never mind.  Congress will never figure that one out."  The budgets were deliberately, over the years, misrepresented to Congress. 

Which is not letting Congress off of any hooks, in my mind.  They consistently and deliberately fail to inform themselves of the subjects of legislation, as aptly demonstrated by virtually every hearing that I've witnessed.  "We have to pass this legislation to find out what's in it."  But I digress.

(3) Alas, it was known by the time VSE came out that the shuttle was going to be retired before its successor was built.  Apparently, that was that plan all along.  But again, I digress.

(4) Back in 2010, Congress knew the program was practically, managerially, budgetarily, ecumenically, and spiritually flawed, but went ahead and appropriated.  They took out a pittance to show that [ooooo...] they still had power over the priesthood scientists.  Even so, this pittance did not cause any program delay.  At all.

(5) Which is a graphic representation of the costs enumerated, and not a demonstration of cause and effect.

BTW, I'm not sure of your feelings on JWST and its continued funding.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #227 on: 12/08/2011 01:49 pm »
such a subjective thing, need...

As in:

"We need science."
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline spectre9

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #228 on: 12/08/2011 02:14 pm »
NASA has so many space centers I can't even name them all to say that none has a vacuum chamber big enough and none was built just for this task is a disgrace.

Some things make NASA look like a black hole jobs program.

The technology comes before the need to have this giant workforce with untouchable employment.

Offline Jim

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #229 on: 12/08/2011 02:32 pm »
NASA has so many space centers I can't even name them all to say that none has a vacuum chamber big enough and none was built just for this task is a disgrace.

Some things make NASA look like a black hole jobs program.

The technology comes before the need to have this giant workforce with untouchable employment.


Huh?  You don't understand the basic information.  Do you know what a thermo vacuum chamber is?  Do you know what the test is for?  Do you do what it takes to build a thermo vac chamber?  Do you know the size of the sun shield?   Do you know the average size of spacecraft that have been flown in the past and planned for the near term?  Do you know where most of the nation's chambers are located? (hint: not at NASA centers)

Research some of these before making ignorant and idio tic comments.

Once you learn all this information, maybe you might learn why HLV payloads will be problematic.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2011 02:36 pm by Jim »

Offline spectre9

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #230 on: 12/08/2011 02:54 pm »
Well at least you've set me in the right direction.

Thanks for your insight once again Jim.  ;D

I think the people working on these type of big projects should be smart enough to know when to put their hand up and say they don't have enough money for everything they would require to complete it.

Offline Jim

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #231 on: 12/08/2011 03:02 pm »

I think the people working on these type of big projects should be smart enough to know when to put their hand up and say they don't have enough money for everything they would require to complete it.

Full size testing is not always required.  Cost - risk trades are always done. In this case, thermally, 1/3 size sun-shield is not that much different from a full size. 

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #232 on: 12/08/2011 04:12 pm »
1( Full size testing is not always required.  2) Cost - risk trades are always done. 3) In this case, thermally, 1/3 size sun-shield is not that much different from a full size. 4) End quote.

1) Clearly. 2) One would hope. 3) And in this case, I'm willing to accept that. 4) Therefore, where is all the money going to be spent?  And when will it be done?

And just for info, will full size testing of the scope, less sunshield, be done in a vacuum cryo chamber?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #233 on: 12/08/2011 04:36 pm »
such a subjective thing, need...

As in:

"We need science."

sure we do.   but one might question whether the science from this mission will be worth $9 billion and whether it was "needed" or not.  depends on your POV
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Offline Jim

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #234 on: 12/08/2011 05:20 pm »

And just for info, will full size testing of the scope, less sunshield, be done in a vacuum cryo chamber?

At JSC

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #235 on: 12/08/2011 09:58 pm »
And just for info, will full size testing of the scope, less sunshield, be done in a vacuum cryo chamber?

From Program Director Richard Howard's Opening Statement at the House Hearing:

"The following figure shows the test chamber that will be used to test the optical performance of the complete JWST telescope with all 18 mirror segment assemblies, secondary mirror, aft optics and flight instruments. This historic human-rated thermal vacuum chamber was used for testing of Apollo-era space vehicles. It is undergoing a $100M upgrade to test JWST down to temperatures of 25 Kelvin. When completed in 2012, Chamber A will be the world’s largest cryogenic vacuum test facility."

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #236 on: 12/09/2011 01:18 pm »
Will full size testing of the scope, less sunshield, be done in a vacuum cryo chamber?

"The following figure shows the test chamber that will be used to test the optical performance of the complete JWST telescope...

To Jim and Analog Man:  Thanks. 

The statement says 25 degrees, the illustration 20.  LL Bean or whoever will have to come out with a new line of thermal underwear.  I suggest that they call it "SouthFace", to differentiate it from the other thermal outerwear line.

The chamber will have multiple applications.  For example, if we had a better idea of the ice characteristics in the crater, (mission hint) we could experiment with the necessary rovers.  It may be thought that the cracking plant will be completely operable without human assistance; but I imagine that humans will have to visit the crater floors.  A new space suit is obviously needed, not to mention early experience with assembly in such an environment.  Then there are sub-scale cracking processes to be worked on.  If the facility would be used as frequently I would use it, it will be used to capacity as often as possible.

Then of course, there's accounting.  Who's footing the bill?  is JWST amortizing the costs of the improvements?  Then fine, no complaints from me.  And all this talk about accounting helps me remember that my earlier question has not been answered:

Quote
4) Therefore, where is all the money going to be spent?  And when will it be done?

such a subjective thing, need...

As in:

"We need science."

sure we do.   but one might question whether the science from this mission will be worth $9 billion and whether it was "needed" or not.  depends on your POV

And of course, a POV is a subjective thing.  And "sure we do", can be said sarcastically, which is the tone that a lot of people take regarding science these days.  A tone accompanied by a rolling of the eyes.  But I digress.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #237 on: 12/09/2011 04:48 pm »
such a subjective thing, need...

As in:

"We need science."

sure we do.   but one might question whether the science from this mission will be worth $9 billion and whether it was "needed" or not.  depends on your POV

And of course, a POV is a subjective thing.  And "sure we do", can be said sarcastically, which is the tone that a lot of people take regarding science these days.  A tone accompanied by a rolling of the eyes.  But I digress.

agreed.  hey, I love science, and in a perfect world Im sure most people would be happy to love it as well.  But the "N" word (need) gets thrown around a little to casually when we are talking billions of dead presidents.  I think we need science...I think we need SLS.  Someone who just lost their home might look on these "needs" a little differently.  But my original comment comes back to the point that its valid to question whether the ROI on this mission is worth $9bln, therefore making its "need" questionable.  Im starting to wonder if JWST will teach us more on the ground (ie, how NOT to manage/fund a project) than we will ever learn from the mission itself. 
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #238 on: 12/10/2011 02:26 am »
Im starting to wonder if JWST will teach us more on the ground (ie, how NOT to manage/fund a project) than we will ever learn from the mission itself.

If this mission is successful, it may teach us more about the universe we live in than any single experiment in modern history.  I'd say that trumps any management lessons that might be learned by about a billion to one.

Offline Andy USA

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Re: JWST: Albatross of SMD now $8.8 billion
« Reply #239 on: 12/10/2011 03:38 am »
No arguing or you lose your posts.

And no inciting, such as that uncalled for "jobs program" insult.

The above is not open for debate.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2011 03:59 am by Andy USA »

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