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Tugger
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James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 7:48 pm

Wow, here's a topic i was thinking might never get restarted!
Now over a decade late and with a $10,000,000,000.00 price tag.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09 ... unch-date/
myriad technical problems have delayed Webb's development over the last decade, leading to enormous cost overruns. Some of this is understandable, as unfurling the 20-meter-long telescope in deep space requires 50 major deployments and 178 major release mechanisms. All of these systems must work or the instrument will fail. There is no easy means of servicing the telescope at its location near a Sun-Earth LaGrange point 1.5 million km from Earth, or four times the distance to the Moon.


Can't wait to see it finally reach the skies it is to gaze into!

Image

Image

More on it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Web ... _Telescope

Tugg
 
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Dutchy
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:24 pm

will be off the planet in December right? Indeed can't wait for the first results. Hopefully, it will work, because there will be no mission to repair it, way to far out. Fingers crossed.
 
estorilm
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:34 pm

Very interesting, but I was completely unaware that this was going to be launched by an Ariane 5..... why? I'm guessing something to do with its launch profile/location, and yes I know it's a joint ESA project, but... wouldn't an Atlas V offer similar performance with increased reliability? I guess the Ariane is fine, but it's tough to beat 100%.
 
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Tugger
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:57 pm

estorilm wrote:
Very interesting, but I was completely unaware that this was going to be launched by an Ariane 5..... why? I'm guessing something to do with its launch profile/location, and yes I know it's a joint ESA project, but... wouldn't an Atlas V offer similar performance with increased reliability? I guess the Ariane is fine, but it's tough to beat 100%.

The launch was part of ESA's contribution to the project.

Tugg
 
Newark727
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:00 pm

Hubble inspired a whole generation of scientists... hopefully we'll get a generation more from the Webb telescope's images.
 
mxaxai
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:09 pm

estorilm wrote:
Very interesting, but I was completely unaware that this was going to be launched by an Ariane 5..... why? I'm guessing something to do with its launch profile/location, and yes I know it's a joint ESA project, but... wouldn't an Atlas V offer similar performance with increased reliability? I guess the Ariane is fine, but it's tough to beat 100%.

Money.

ESA wants access to the telescope but doesn't have much to offer for the spacecraft itself. So they're paying for the launch. Also, the Ariane 5 has become pretty reliable.
 
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Tugger
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:30 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Also, the Ariane 5 has become pretty reliable.

There are going to be quite a few puckered sphincters in ESA the day it launches... :pray:

Tugg
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 3:34 am

Tugger wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Also, the Ariane 5 has become pretty reliable.

There are going to be quite a few puckered sphincters in ESA the day it launches... :pray:

Tugg


There are going to be hundreds, if not thousands, of very well toned asses from the clenching should it get to and pass its first light tests. There is a boggling number of critical things that could go wrong and basically scupper the entire project.

I wish the team luck.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:58 pm

Remember Hubble with the warped lense? The puckering won't stop until after the first few observations are verified and calibrated.

bt
 
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Tugger
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 3:23 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Remember Hubble with the warped lense? The puckering won't stop until after the first few observations are verified and calibrated.

bt

Not a warped lens, rather a "Spherical Aberration"... Heck of a read: https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/04/23/f ... ry-vision/

I definitely wish JWST a successful mission and will, like everyone, be waiting for that "first light" image. All the other "science" and spectro-wavelength-emission-sublimation-whatever stuff is great and may be perfect, but we humans want pictures! :biggrin:

Tugg
 
texl1649
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:03 pm

Tugger wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Also, the Ariane 5 has become pretty reliable.

There are going to be quite a few puckered sphincters in ESA the day it launches... :pray:

Tugg


I think it bears noting how the launch itself is…almost the easiest/safest part of this launch. It is a quite complicated deployment. But don’t take my word for it, take the NASA science chief;

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08 ... bout-webb/

For most missions, launch contributes the majority of mission risk," explained Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for science missions at NASA. "If the spacecraft is in space, most risk is behind us."

However, there are exceptions to this rule, Zurbuchen explained in a new blog post for the space agency. For the Mars Perseverance mission launched last summer, for example, only about 10 to 20 percent of the mission's risk was retired once the spacecraft reached orbit. The remainder lay ahead of the vehicle, particularly with its daring landing on Mars, and then performing a technically challenging sample acquisition and analysis.

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, due to launch on a European Ariane 5 rocket late this year, offers an even more extreme example. In his blog post, Zurbuchen offers a frank and revealing analysis of Webb's launch and assessment of the risks.

Once in space, Webb will need to travel about 1.5 million km from Earth to the L2 Lagrange Point beyond the Moon where it will be able to maintain a stable position without using much on-board propulsion. Along the way, and once there, some 50 deployments of the large, folded-up telescope will be necessary to prepare for scientific observations. This process will involve nearly 350 single-point failures, and if something goes wrong, it would scuttle the deployment without hope of repair. The number of single-point failures for Webb, by comparison, is a factor of three greater than the seven-minute landing of Perseverance on Mars.

It will take about three weeks to deploy Webb, and scientists will be on edge the entire time, Zurbuchen said.

"Those who are not worried or even terrified about this are not understanding what we are trying to do," Zurbuchen wrote. "We have worked hard to build the team for this task and it has been a tough journey at times. This mission has a very troubled story with chapters that were disappointing, or even baffling. We are where we are because Webb has some of the best engineers and leaders I have ever met, and they have continued when others were ready to give up."
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:34 pm

The biggest positive of a failure is that with the new generation of heavy lift vehicles coming online like Superheavy/Starship and Vulcan. Launching a replacement would require just building a new scope. Possibly with less fiddly bits due to the bigger fairings available.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:39 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Launching a replacement would require just building a new scope.


Building a new scope may not as easy as you say. Specifically, I doubt that any of the computer chips used would still be available. Unless they stash an extra set as backup.

bt
 
mxaxai
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:16 pm

bikerthai wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Launching a replacement would require just building a new scope.


Building a new scope may not as easy as you say. Specifically, I doubt that any of the computer chips used would still be available. Unless they stash an extra set as backup.

bt

I would assume that the engineering / qualification models are still around. Knowing other NASA missions, they should have at least one complete second set of the electronics for tests on the ground, even after launch.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1898
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:11 am

mxaxai wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Launching a replacement would require just building a new scope.


Building a new scope may not as easy as you say. Specifically, I doubt that any of the computer chips used would still be available. Unless they stash an extra set as backup.

bt

I would assume that the engineering / qualification models are still around. Knowing other NASA missions, they should have at least one complete second set of the electronics for tests on the ground, even after launch.


LOL, knowing NASA it would take 10 to 15 years to validate/budget/contract/execute such a plan.
 
tommy1808
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:12 pm

Tugger wrote:
estorilm wrote:
Very interesting, but I was completely unaware that this was going to be launched by an Ariane 5..... why? I'm guessing something to do with its launch profile/location, and yes I know it's a joint ESA project, but... wouldn't an Atlas V offer similar performance with increased reliability? I guess the Ariane is fine, but it's tough to beat 100%.

The launch was part of ESA's contribution to the project.

Tugg


Paper exercise essentially since NASA can not pay non-US lunch providers to launch payload paid for full or in part by the US taxpayer.

Best regards
Thimas
 
bajs11
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Sat Sep 11, 2021 8:03 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Tugger wrote:
estorilm wrote:
Very interesting, but I was completely unaware that this was going to be launched by an Ariane 5..... why? I'm guessing something to do with its launch profile/location, and yes I know it's a joint ESA project, but... wouldn't an Atlas V offer similar performance with increased reliability? I guess the Ariane is fine, but it's tough to beat 100%.

The launch was part of ESA's contribution to the project.

Tugg


Paper exercise essentially since NASA can not pay non-US lunch providers to launch payload paid for full or in part by the US taxpayer.

Best regards
Thimas


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/19/nasa-co ... soyuz.html
the cost per astronaut for flying with the Russians has steadily climbed, with the most recent contracts coming out to $86 million per astronaut.
 
tommy1808
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:05 am

bajs11 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Tugger wrote:
The launch was part of ESA's contribution to the project.

Tugg


Paper exercise essentially since NASA can not pay non-US lunch providers to launch payload paid for full or in part by the US taxpayer.

Best regards
Thimas


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/19/nasa-co ... soyuz.html
the cost per astronaut for flying with the Russians has steadily climbed, with the most recent contracts coming out to $86 million per astronaut.


I wouldn't consider astronauts payload, but NASA needs a waiver from Congress to pay for Soyus.

Best regards
Thomas
 
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Francoflier
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:23 am

The JWST is on the final stretch before launch. It has arrived in French Guiana and is being readied to leave Earth in December:

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58960575

I thought it might be shipped by air, but it seems it sailed there instead.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1898
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope has a launch date: Dec 18 2021

Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:13 pm

Really hope this goes smoothly. Incredible project, we all I believe realize the launch/getting it deployed at the Lagrange point is exceptionally complicated, with the booster phase a relatively low risk part of the sequence.

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