NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is one of the most anticipated spacecraft among the scientific community since it will facilitate the research of many objects which can be found in the void of the space.
However, the project has been affected by a series of delays and budget breaks as the expenses skyrocketed during the development process. Northrop Grumman, which received the contract for the development of the spacecraft, is responsible for many of the issues, with many deadlines being offered without taking into account possible issues or setbacks.
In recent months the project has started to look more impressive as the final components and installations are being conducted. During a recent test, the telescope proved that it could extend the mirror, one of the few tools that will be put to good work once it reaches the desired position in orbit.
The Mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope
Northrop Grumman ran into several development issues throughout the years, forcing both NASA and other officials to demand explanations for the delays and cost increases. Many of the issues have been caused by human errors, with the use of wrong parts or chemicals being the primary culprits. The correction of these flaws has taken a lot of time.
The current coronavirus crisis is also causing problems as NASA has been forced to shut down some of its centers and ask non-essential staff to work remotely. At this point, most projects haven’t been affected by the circumstances, but this may change in the future as the virus continues to spread across the US.
Despite the best efforts, it is likely that Northrop Grumman will have to reduce the number of on-site employees in an attempt to mitigate the spread of coronavirus among employees, a strategy that may also lead to new delays for the James Webb telescope. For now, it is thought that the James Webb Space Telescope will be launched in 2021, but only time will tell.