Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

NASA Delays Next-Generation Space Telescope Until 2020

NASA Delays Next-Generation Space Telescope Until 2020

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is undergoing final preparations in Florida for its April 16 launch to find undiscovered worlds around nearby stars, targets where future studies will assess their capacity to harbor life.

U.S. space agency officials now say the construction bill could exceed the cap.

During the previous delay, announced in September 2017, NASA officials said that issues with the spacecraft bus and its sunshield led to the slip. Now, the JWST delay risks compounding problems for WFIRST. NASA is likewise developing an independent evaluation board to examine the release series as well as various other facets of the job's launch. "We didn't know what that impact would be at the time" of the previous delay, he said, adding that the valves have since been refurbished and reinstalled.

The enormous space observatory is made in two halves where the first is the telescope itself and another halve is a complication and huge sun shield that will protect the four science instruments and the entire observatory from the radiation and another host of damages from the Sun.

Overall, the "deploy, fold and stow" tests took twice as long as expected. During testing of the sunshield's folding process and subsequent deployment sequence, it was found that tears developed and the sunshield's tensioning cables had to be redesigned, as the original design left too much slack. Engineers then will integrate and test the fully assembled observatory and verify all components work together properly.

Its launch is now delayed because the device, which will have the ability to observe in the infra-red spectrum, is currently "in the final phase of integration and tests that will take longer to ensure the success of the mission", admitted NASA in a statement.

Israeli warplanes hit Hamas in Gaza overnight
Brigadier General Ronen Menlis from the IDF spokesperson's Unit said: "No barrage of missiles was sacked at Israel from Gaza". Earlier, Israeli media had reported that Iron Dome had intercepted a number of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Such features have a price and the United States space agency warned on Tuesday that "once the precise launch date has been determined, NASA will provide an estimate of development costs that are likely to exceed the $ 8 billion forecast". The Government Accountability Office, in a recent report, concluded any significant additional delay would cause a cost-cap breach.

" All the observatory's trip equipment is now total; nonetheless, the concerns exposed with the spacecraft aspect are motivating us to take the essential actions to redouble our initiatives on the conclusion of this enthusiastic as well as intricate observatory", NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot claimed in a declaration. By adding transaction costs, the bill could now exceed $ 9 billion. NASA will submit an official report to the Congress by late June citing the expenses and requirements of the project. It is the first major setback since NASA revised its plans for the project in 2011, after years of slipping schedules and rising costs. Another delay could still push it back even further.

Northrop staff are now working 3 shifts, 24 hours a day, but can not work on enough parts simultaneously to stay on schedule.

"We're very confident that with these enhancements, we'll get to a place that will allow us to have a higher confidence level that the telescope functions as expected before it travels to French Guiana" for launch on an Ariane 5, Andrucyk said.

The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope has been delayed yet again and will not now launch before May 2020.

On March 15, the spacecraft passed a review that confirmed it was ready for launch.

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