James Webb Space Telescope Will NOT Be Launched Before 2020 According To NASA Officials

However, the data obtained from the Standing Review Board (SRB) notifies about additional time is required. When Hubble launched, we hadn't yet spotted the first exoplanet. It isn't yet known how much extra money will be needed, Acting administrator Robert Lightfoot Jr told reporters.

The delay will have ramifications beyond the JWST team.

Among the problems described by Dennis Andrucyk, deputy associate administrator in NASA's science mission directorate, include contamination of values in thrusters on the spacecraft bus, a problem identified last summer.

Neither Tess nor other joint missions will be impacted by the Webb delays, Zurbuchen said.

Another issue has been problems with the deployment of the sunshield, a five-layer membrane the size of a tennis court created to keep the telescope cold while in space.

Recent testing of the unfolding mechanisms revealed there was still work to be done. Springs and "dog house" devices were added to maintain proper cable tension. NASA and Northrop Grumman have identified fixes for these problems, but their repair has added months of delays to the project, and engineers can not be sure that more issues will not crop up during further testing. "We were rather optimistic in how we projected an [integration and testing] schedule", said Andrucyk.

Andrucyk said Tuesday that Nasa will increase engineering oversight of these final phases, including ensuring that a senior official from the Goddard Space Flight Center (where the JWST was built) is always present at Northrop Grumman. NASA is also establishing an Independent Review Board that will be led by former NASA center director and aerospace executive Tom Young, who has served on many similar reviews of agency programs in the past.

" 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. Both halves of the 13,500-pound observatory now are together in the same facility for the first time. However, after years of being under construction, the cost has ballooned to over $10 billion Dollars that includes its launch and operational expenses. Another delay could still push it back even further. The joining of the telescope and science payload element to the spacecraft element this year will be a "pivotal" milestone for the observatory, says NASA.

According to a report, Northrop Grumman had people working on building the telescope 24 hours a day.

"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.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is delaying the launch of its next-generation space telescope - its highest science priority - until at least 2020. JWST involves complex designs that have never been tested before, such as the enormous sunshield.

The delay in JWST's launch will also delay the science it will produce. Launch dates ranging from 2007 to 2011 were considered realistic. Unlike Hubble, which was in low Earth orbit and could be repaired by astronauts when a flaw in its main mirror was revealed after launch, the JWST will be a million miles from Earth, four times as far as the moon."It's this really important balance between pushing and being considerate and absolutely thoughtful about where we're going", Lightfoot said.

It's the latest in a series of delays for the telescope, dating back a decade. The new target is approximately May 2020. "We can't wait to get our hands on TESS light curves of new transiting planets!"

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