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(LA Times)   (In Samuel L. Jackson voice) What does a $8.8 billion telescope look like?   (latimes.com) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, James Webb Space Telescope, telescopes, NASA, runaway, aerospace industry, Carnegie Institution, Northrop Grumman, martian soil  
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3988 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Feb 2012 at 11:45 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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NFA [TotalFark]
2012-02-19 07:31:22 PM  
"But for all its sophistication, the project also reveals a deeply ingrained dysfunction in the agency's business practices, critics say. The Webb's cost has soared to $8.8 billion, more than four times the original aerospace industry estimates, which nearly led Congress to kill the program last year."

Them government contractors gots to get paid
 
2012-02-19 07:59:01 PM  
Damnit. To think, that money could have gone to help a struggling major bank!
 
2012-02-19 08:33:33 PM  
It's gold...
 
2012-02-19 08:34:07 PM  
farm8.staticflickr.com
 
2012-02-19 09:12:11 PM  
i297.photobucket.com
 
2012-02-19 09:31:28 PM  
Surprisingly, a lot like an $8.6 billion telescope.
 
2012-02-19 09:34:30 PM  
mmmm-hmmmm, this is a tasty telescope.
 
2012-02-19 09:36:37 PM  
I think that was John Travolta's line. He was curious about the $5 milkshake.
 
2012-02-19 09:39:45 PM  

EvilEgg: I think that was John Travolta's line. He was curious about the $5 milkshake.


QFT
 
amo [TotalFark]
2012-02-19 09:44:31 PM  
It looks awesome, that's what it looks like.
 
2012-02-19 10:35:20 PM  
Hopefully it looks well or else it would be a waste of money.
 
2012-02-19 11:48:31 PM  
I know that this thing is supposed to be really cutting edge stuff, but jeez $8.8 billion is a huge figure.
The LHC was mighty expensive and all, but you can kinda see how they could spend such a huge sum when you know a bit about the shear scale of it, the supercomputing wizardry behind it etc. It's really hard to see how they managed to spend such a vast amount on what is effectively a big telescope.

/not against the expenditure at all
//Just surprised
 
2012-02-19 11:57:22 PM  
Extremely useful, technical and kewl shiat costs money. But the model to fund it is fundamentally broken.

/willing to deal with the waste of over spending for a science project over buying another farking aircraft carrier
 
2012-02-20 12:05:02 AM  
It's easier to say you're sorry than to ask for permission.
 
2012-02-20 12:06:04 AM  
Huh, our telescope at work was only $400 million-ish. Of course, it's on the ground, which really keeps costs down.
 
2012-02-20 12:08:57 AM  

SJKebab: I know that this thing is supposed to be really cutting edge stuff, but jeez $8.8 billion is a huge figure.


War cost $1.3 trillion the last 10 years. This telescope is equal to 25 days of that.
 
2012-02-20 12:11:10 AM  
a biatch?
 
2012-02-20 12:12:09 AM  
If we're going to send an enormous waste of money into space, can't we send the congressmen who threatened to kill this project? I'm willing to compromise and not give them spacesuits.
 
2012-02-20 12:12:23 AM  
Aside from the obvious problem of government waste, it's an absolute shame they ran so far over the initial budget because that's going to kill support for future big spending items and NASA in general.

Although, I'd much rather see the money go to a telescope than to toward bombs for the middle east.
 
2012-02-20 12:23:23 AM  

SJKebab: I know that this thing is supposed to be really cutting edge stuff, but jeez $8.8 billion is a huge figure.
The LHC was mighty expensive and all, but you can kinda see how they could spend such a huge sum when you know a bit about the shear scale of it, the supercomputing wizardry behind it etc. It's really hard to see how they managed to spend such a vast amount on what is effectively a big telescope.

/not against the expenditure at all
//Just surprised


Considering that most of the components have to be specially crafted from uncommon materials, its not really all that suprising.
 
2012-02-20 12:28:53 AM  

SJKebab: It's really hard to see how they managed to spend such a vast amount on what is effectively a big telescope.


Here (new window) are all the new technologies going into the telescope.
 
2012-02-20 12:34:17 AM  
Is it me, or does it look like they're working on a 8.8 billion dollar telescope in the Northop Grumman cafeteria?
 
2012-02-20 12:38:26 AM  

EvilEgg: I think that was John Travolta's line. He was curious about the $5 milkshake.


They don't put bourbon or nothin' in it?
 
2012-02-20 12:42:22 AM  

marsgwar: Here (new window) are all the new technologies going into the telescope.


Good link that. Cheers.
 
2012-02-20 12:42:31 AM  
what?
 
2012-02-20 12:45:57 AM  

SJKebab: I know that this thing is supposed to be really cutting edge stuff, but jeez $8.8 billion is a huge figure.
The LHC was mighty expensive and all, but you can kinda see how they could spend such a huge sum when you know a bit about the shear scale of it, the supercomputing wizardry behind it etc. It's really hard to see how they managed to spend such a vast amount on what is effectively a big telescope.

/not against the expenditure at all
//Just surprised


Well if you could put the LHC into orbit and get it to work in space it might be a better comparison.
 
2012-02-20 12:46:07 AM  
I had to add "mother farker!?!" to the end to make it work.
 
2012-02-20 12:56:33 AM  

Relatively Obscure: Damnit. To think, that money could have gone to help a struggling major bank!


Figure $700 Billion for TARP

Nem Wan: War cost $1.3 trillion the last 10 years. This telescope is equal to 25 days of that.


...added to this: Imagine what science could've been done with that budget!

A manned mission to Mars that would fuel a passion for science in a whole generation could almost be done just off the interest.

/What the hell is wrong with our priorities‽
 
2012-02-20 12:56:36 AM  

Relatively Obscure: Damnit. To think, that money could have gone to help a struggling major bank!


So much THIS. Didn't the bail out cost taxpayers more than NASA's running budget for its entire existence?
 
2012-02-20 01:09:58 AM  

Diogenes Teufelsdrockh: Relatively Obscure: Damnit. To think, that money could have gone to help a struggling major bank!

Figure $700 Billion for TARP

Nem Wan: War cost $1.3 trillion the last 10 years. This telescope is equal to 25 days of that.

...added to this: Imagine what science could've been done with that budget!

A manned mission to Mars that would fuel a passion for science in a whole generation could almost be done just off the interest.

/What the hell is wrong with our priorities‽


If only the terrorists were going to Mars...
 
2012-02-20 01:10:18 AM  

SJKebab: I know that this thing is supposed to be really cutting edge stuff, but jeez $8.8 billion is a huge figure.
The LHC was mighty expensive and all, but you can kinda see how they could spend such a huge sum when you know a bit about the shear scale of it, the supercomputing wizardry behind it etc. It's really hard to see how they managed to spend such a vast amount on what is effectively a big telescope.

/not against the expenditure at all
//Just surprised


Well to understand why Webb is so complex, you have to know something about infrared observatories. Infrared is heat radiation as you might know, so the telescope instruments have to be very cold to see the faint glow of infrared heat from distant stars and galaxies. Which means the telescope instruments have to be very very cold. Webb is primarily an infrared telescope but unlike other infrared telescopes it wont rely on liquid nitrogen or liquid helium for cooling. As the downside to both is you eventually run out like the Planck telescope (new window) did earlier this year, and like Herschel Space Observatory (new window) will in a year or so.

So Webb will depend on a giant sun shield, which is a complex piece of engineering in its own right. Unlike other Infrared observatories the goal is for Webb to last at least 10 years.

That doesn't of course excuse the cost overruns, I think going from a budget of 3 billion to 8 billion is outrageous and a danger to a sustainable space program. That being said, there is no question that our nation will benefit greatly from the science done by Webb once it is launched. It might very well change our understanding of the universe, I don't see how it couldn't. Hubble did as much, and its nowhere near as powerful as Webb intends to be.
 
2012-02-20 01:13:26 AM  
Sigh, sorry. :P My bad. Not sure what I was thinking. Planck isn't an infrared telescope, but Herschel is. Also, sorry about the typos. Ugh, I've been half stupid all day. Its annoying.
 
2012-02-20 01:14:14 AM  
what?
 
2012-02-20 01:16:11 AM  

Spyder_Monkey: EvilEgg: I think that was John Travolta's line. He was curious about the $5 milkshake.

They don't put bourbon or nothin' in it?


And now I'm craving a bourbon vanilla milkshake.
 
2012-02-20 01:21:50 AM  
This is inexcusable, Did the other james webb telescopes cost this much? Some one needs to get fired over this for sure.

Also I blame that politician I don't like... you all know the one.
 
2012-02-20 01:27:45 AM  

Matticus: what?


LockeOak: what?


What? What ain't no country I ever heard of! They speak English in What?
 
2012-02-20 01:28:26 AM  
"What does a an $8.8 billion telescope look like?"

FTF Subby

/gah, the headline
//grammar senses tingling
 
2012-02-20 01:37:41 AM  
(In Samuel L. Jackson voice) What does a $8.8 billion telescope look like?

In my head, Sam Jackson sounds likes Morgan Freeman when talking sciencey shiat.
 
2012-02-20 01:37:54 AM  
The Webb telescope is going to be the most awesome thing we've ever sent into space. I just hope they get it right the first time because repair missions are just a little bit impossible.
 
2012-02-20 01:38:10 AM  
the total cost for this project is something like 2% of the DoD 2012 budget

Link

while i agree that the culture of bidding ludicrously low to get your foot in the door then adjusting the cost estimates to 10-20 times the original is a huge problem for NASA lately, it is still a literally insignificant amount compared to just about any other government program.

also, relavent info-graphic.
Link
 
2012-02-20 01:48:46 AM  

The Smails Kid: Matticus: what?

LockeOak: what?

What? What ain't no country I ever heard of! They speak English in What?


Say "what" one more goddamned time!
 
2012-02-20 01:50:21 AM  

Nem Wan: SJKebab: I know that this thing is supposed to be really cutting edge stuff, but jeez $8.8 billion is a huge figure.

War cost $1.3 trillion the last 10 years. This telescope is equal to 25 days of that.


Seems to me we've been a trillion over budget a year for the last 3 yrs.

Spreading 1.3 over a ten yr period seems like a good deal
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2012-02-20 01:53:32 AM  

shanrick: mmmm-hmmmm, this is a tasty telescope.


Do you know what they call a telescope in France?

They call it a

8,6 milliards de dollars télescope avec du fromage!
 
2012-02-20 01:57:46 AM  

Sandor at the Zoo: The Smails Kid: Matticus: what?

LockeOak: what?

What? What ain't no country I ever heard of! They speak English in What?

Say "what" one more goddamned time!


What?
 
2012-02-20 01:58:31 AM  

NFA: shanrick: mmmm-hmmmm, this is a tasty telescope.

Do you know what they call a telescope in France?


"Putain!" when it breaks.

/Has done a bit of astronomy in France...
 
2012-02-20 02:08:03 AM  
If the government paid $88 billion for a telescope, I suspect that it's the same plastic one that the Dollar Store has.

On clearance.
 
2012-02-20 02:41:25 AM  

9beers: The Webb telescope is going to be the most awesome thing we've ever sent into space. I just hope they get it right the first time because repair missions are just a little bit impossible.


This.

Going to Mars, or to the Moon again is retarded...the JWST is important.
 
2012-02-20 04:38:02 AM  
I'm a dreamer. And as that type of individual, I would hope that most would agree that those types of folks have brought us to the point of advancement we currently enjoy.

I also hope that it has become relatively obvious to most that there is no future for us as a single-planet species. We simply cannot sustain ourselves living as we do for another millennium. It can't happen. It won't happen. And things will get very, very ugly before they get bad enough to end us.

The JWST will not put us on another planet that is suitable for human existence, and much work must be done before such a thing is feasible in the first place. But it will help us understand where we have come from and what we're up against. And the knowledge we gain by this and other projects (rovers, probes, etc.) should be followed very closely by human spaceflight to other planets.

Projects like this should be the most important farking thing we have going for us.

Unless it's making sure the gays can't marry. That takes precedent, obviously.
 
2012-02-20 05:04:55 AM  

GleeUnit: I'm a dreamer. And as that type of individual, I would hope that most would agree that those types of folks have brought us to the point of advancement we currently enjoy.


That is one hell of a sentence. Oh, wait, I mean that is one hellish sentence. Maybe you should dream about taking some remedial composition.

It can't happen. It won't happen.

Ah, yes, the words of a true dreamer.
 
2012-02-20 05:40:26 AM  
I am amazed at the logic of "well it cost too much so let's shiat can the whole thing". There's your problem. Killing an almost completed project because of budget over runs is a political decision, not a budgetary one.

/still butthurt over the SSC.
 
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