NASA boosts Webb telescope cost to $8.7 billion

Aug 25, 2011
This undated NASA handout image shows a full scale James webb Space Telescope. NASA has boosted its cost estimate of a major telescope project to 8.7 billion dollars, even as lawmakers have threatened to slash the space agency's budget, a spokesman said Wednesday.

NASA has boosted its cost estimate of a major telescope project to 8.7 billion dollars, even as lawmakers have threatened to slash the space agency's budget, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The , which aims to replace the with great power and accuracy, would now be ready by October 2018, according to the latest estimates.

"NASA has completed a JWST replan that assumes a revised life-cycle-cost of about $8.7 billion and a launch readiness date of October 2018," spokesman Trent Perrotto told AFP in an email.

"The $8.7 billion life-cycle-cost includes development, launch, and five years of operations and science costs," he said.

"Any final decisions regarding implementation of the JWST replan will be reflected in the FY 2013 ," which President is to send to Congress next year.

In February, NASA inspector general Paul Martin told lawmakers that the telescope had gone way over its initial budget of 3.5 billion dollars and was likely to come in at around 6.5 billion dollars.

NASA has also pushed back its scheduled launch -- initially set for 2013 -- numerous times.

In July, a Congressional subcommittee voted to axe the JWST project from the US space agency budget altogether, though that decision would have to be approved by the entire House and Senate and signed by Obama for it to take effect.

JWST is an international collaboration grouping NASA, the (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

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User comments : 7

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Hengine
not rated yet Aug 25, 2011
2018? Wtf?
CreepyD
not rated yet Aug 25, 2011
Judging on how well the Hubble has done you would have thought this telescope would be given a higher priority to launch on time.
This money is nothing in the grand scheme of things spread over a number of years.
Subach
not rated yet Aug 25, 2011
llllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Decimatus
not rated yet Aug 26, 2011
2018 is a good date actually. If they wanted all that money over the next year or two it would definitely be cancelled by congress.

This gives some time for the economy to get back on track and the deficit hawks to quiet down.
ACW
not rated yet Aug 27, 2011
It gives time for more ballooning of the cost-estimates and puts everything off on another administration....as usual
hard2grep
not rated yet Aug 27, 2011
We could build a new space agency from scratch just the way we want it, and then shut down the old one. This would stop the gushing wound. Nobody but scientists gets his or her job back. After all this is a business model issue isn't it? I can buy my own turnkey enterprise, right?
LKD
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2011
"Any final decisions regarding implementation of the JWST replan will be reflected in the FY 2013 budget request," which President Barack Obama is to send to Congress next year."

President Obama has never created a budget, nor will. Are you somehow expecting that to change? Unless the House is encouraged to pass funding for the telescope, it'll be defunded.