Scientists were apprehensive about the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope and their fears turned out to be right.
NASA has yet again postponed the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) that was supposed to happen on Tuesday after engineers discovered a communications glitch “between the observatory and the launch vehicle system.” This was updated in a blog from the agency. Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate admin for NASA’s science mission directorate, told Spaceflight Now that it’s likely a ground support issue.
“The way to think about it is it’s a ground support equipment thing,” Zurbuchen told the website. “Basically, the data cables are dropping out of frame.”
The launch will now be no later than December 24. Since the date is now postponed, it might be the case that the agency will go for a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day launch.
The mission of the launch of the Telescope has cost almost $10 billion to the agency and it has taken it 20 years to be completed. Therefore, people are eager about the launch and nervous about it.
In fact, NASA has drawn some criticism due to what’s been seen as a lack of communication regarding Webb’s launch.
“If ever a flight warranted more frequent updates, JWST is it,” William Harwood, space reporter for CBS News, said in a tweet.
“1000 percent agree,” Irene Klotz, space editor for Aviation Week, said in a reply. “NASA should be setting the standard for transparency and forthrightness in communications, especially with a mission of this significance.”
Now, everyone is looking forward to the agency announcing a date. Everyone is apprehensive about it. They are hopeful for a safe Christmas launch.