JUN 17, 2019 5:25 PM PDT

Here's Why the James Webb Space Telescope is Taking So Long

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is one of the American space agency’s most expensive projects to date, and it promises to teach us more about the universe around us – more than any other space telescope before it. But it continues to see developmental delays, and this begs the pressing question: when will it finally launch?

The answer is somewhat blurry, but part of the reason for all the delays is the sheer complexity of the unit itself. So much research and development have been poured into the James Webb Space Telescopes that NASA is taking a lot of time to ensure everything is perfect before launch. After all, NASA won’t be able to service the space telescope after it’s already in space.

The James Webb Space Telescope features novel technologies that NASA has never deployed before, such as a sizeable 6.5-meter mirror, a large sun shield, and a powerful infrared optical system that has never been used in outer space before. These technologies promise to revolutionize what we know about the universe around us, and scientists hope to answer many of the complex questions that remain, such as how we got here.

Assuming everything goes according to plan, NASA’s latest launch estimate is Spring of 2021, which means that the James Webb Space Telescope would begin sending raw data back to scientists on Earth by sometime in the Summer or Fall of 2021. Of course, there’s always the chance that the James Webb Space Telescope could face more delays before then… only time will tell.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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