NASA Moves Webb Telescope Launch to May 2020

NASA Moves Webb Telescope Launch to May 2020 - top government contractors - best government contracting event
NASA image

NASA has pushed back from 2019 to May 2020 the launch of its James Webb Space Telescope to give the program’s engineers more time to test and integrate the telescope and spacecraft components.

“All the observatory's flight hardware is now complete, however, the issues brought to light with the spacecraft element are prompting us to take the necessary steps to refocus our efforts on the completion of this ambitious and complex observatory,“ Robert Lightfoot, acting NASA administrator, said in a statement published Tuesday.

NASA has begun the final integration and testing phases for the Webb telescope and formed an independent review board to assess the telescope's testing, launch, commissioning and deployment efforts and offer recommendations for the agency to set a specific time frame for the spacecraft's launch.

Thomas Young, a NASA and industry veteran, will chair the board.

Northrop Grumman will work with NASA to integrate this year the telescope, science payload and spacecraft elements to form the observatory at its Redondo Beach, California-based facility.

The telescope's spacecraft element consists of a Northrop-built sunshield and a spacecraft bus and is slated to undergo environmental tests this year.

NASA will collaborate with the European Space Agency to determine a new launch readiness date for the Ariane 5 rocket that will bring the Webb telescope into space.

You may also be interested in...

U.S. Air Force

Air Force Releases RFI for Advanced Reentry Vehicle Technology

The U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons center has launched a market research for advanced planning efforts related to intercontinental ballistic missile and sought input from potential sources of technologies for futute reentry vehicles, including radiation hardened electronics. 

Hermeus

Hermeus Expands Footprint in Atlanta With New Aircraft Assembly Factory

American startup Hermeus will turn a 110,000 square-foot facility in Atlanta into an aircraft assembly factory that will accomodate structures testing and light manufacturing operations and will double as the company's headquarters for its hundreds of employees.

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit’s New LauncherOne Mission to Send DOD, International Satellites to Space in June

Virgin Orbit announced on Thursday that its LauncherOne rocket is fully assembled and will soon be shipped to Mojave Air and Space Port in California for pre-launch operations. The rocket’s upcoming mission is called Tubular Bells, Part One, which will launch CubeSat satellites for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Royal Netherlands Air Force, as well as two optical satellites for SatRevolution. The launch is scheduled for June of this year.