Wednesday, May 25, 2005

James Webb Space Telescope May Have To Be Scaled Back

Facing soaring budget overruns and launch delays, the James Webb Space Telescope, the planned replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope, is coming under review and may experience some cutbacks. With current estimates putting the price tag at $3.5bil by 2012 not including the launch cost, NASA is looking at what needs to be done to get its financial house in order.

Orbiting the sun at the Earth-Sun L2 point approximately 1.5mil km from Earth, Webb will have an ideal vantage point to observe star birth and the formation of the universes earliest galaxies.

NASA is going to the astrophysical community in mid-July to decide where the cuts will be either in Webb or in other projects.