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(Science Alert)   NASA to build the mother of all Hubbles   (sciencealert.com) divider line
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672 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 May 2020 at 11:28 AM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-21 10:47:48 AM  
Meanwhile, Webb telescope last seen out back along the chain link, next to the dumpster.
 
2020-05-21 11:34:13 AM  

edmo: Meanwhile, Webb telescope last seen out back along the chain link, next to the dumpster.


Yep.

NASA sucks.  They used to be cool and actually do stuff, but not any more.
 
2020-05-21 11:50:37 AM  

dittybopper: edmo: Meanwhile, Webb telescope last seen out back along the chain link, next to the dumpster.

Yep.

NASA sucks.  They used to be cool and actually do stuff, but not any more.


Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was on track to be launched next March before the pandemic hit, right? It's in final testing and shakedown, checking to make sure everything works. Yes, it's probably going to get delayed now, because of the lockdown effects, but that's hardly NASA's fault.

I'm still reasonably confident that it's going to get launched, it's a year from launch after a couple of decades of work. It would not be reasonable to cancel it now, and launching it would provide the kind of spectacle that Trump would enjoy taking credit for, so it's probably safe even from him.
 
2020-05-21 12:03:05 PM  
I heard the budget for the project was just slashed by 1/3.
 
2020-05-21 12:35:25 PM  

KiltedBastich: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was on track to be launched next March before the pandemic hit, right?


Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was also on track to be launched in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020, right? It's been a year or two away since 2017. IIRC, it was on this same phase of testing a few years ago before getting delayed again due to issues.

Not to say that it will never launch, but it's totally earned getting made fun of by now

imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-21 12:37:15 PM  

KiltedBastich: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was on track to be launched next March before the pandemic hit, right?


You'll pardon me for being skeptical about that.

Fark user imageView Full Size


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_W​e​bb_Space_Telescope#Cost_and_schedule_i​ssues

It's getting to the point that I'm starting to thing the JWST doesn't actually physically exist, except in a non-functional mock-up form.

That's a joke, of course, but it's *THIRTEEN*FARKING*YEARS* behind schedule.   My son was 3 years old when it was supposed to be launched originally.  He's now got his driver's permit.
 
2020-05-21 12:45:58 PM  

dittybopper: KiltedBastich: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was on track to be launched next March before the pandemic hit, right?

You'll pardon me for being skeptical about that.

[Fark user image 283x497]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_We​bb_Space_Telescope#Cost_and_schedule_i​ssues

It's getting to the point that I'm starting to thing the JWST doesn't actually physically exist, except in a non-functional mock-up form.

That's a joke, of course, but it's *THIRTEEN*FARKING*YEARS* behind schedule.   My son was 3 years old when it was supposed to be launched originally.  He's now got his driver's permit.


It's the most complex device ever launched into space, and it's not a close margin. These delays are not  surprising. It remains the telescope is complete and fully assembled, and they are testing components. When something fails a test, it needs to be examined to determine why it failed, and then figure out how to keep the replacement from failing similarly, and then make a new part with the updated specs, each and every one of which is a custom job with exacting standards before the update to correct the failure issue.

All those projections are what would have happened if nothing went wrong. No project this complex never has things go wrong. Far better it be delayed to make sure we catch all the problems on Earth rather than have it fail somehow once it's orbiting out at a Lagrange point, because that would be the mother of all service calls to fix it at that point.
 
2020-05-21 12:47:21 PM  
And I should also point out that it's been longer since NASA could put astronauts into space than it took from Alan Shepherd's suborbital flight in the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule in May 1961 and Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon  (July 1969, for 8 years 2 months).

(Last shuttle flight - July 2011, at 8 years 9 months currently)

*AND* we're going to be using a much less aerodynamically complex vehicle to boot, a return to the old days.
 
2020-05-21 12:50:56 PM  

KiltedBastich: dittybopper: KiltedBastich: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was on track to be launched next March before the pandemic hit, right?

You'll pardon me for being skeptical about that.

[Fark user image 283x497]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_We​bb_Space_Telescope#Cost_and_schedule_i​ssues

It's getting to the point that I'm starting to thing the JWST doesn't actually physically exist, except in a non-functional mock-up form.

That's a joke, of course, but it's *THIRTEEN*FARKING*YEARS* behind schedule.   My son was 3 years old when it was supposed to be launched originally.  He's now got his driver's permit.

It's the most complex device ever launched into space, and it's not a close margin. These delays are not  surprising. It remains the telescope is complete and fully assembled, and they are testing components. When something fails a test, it needs to be examined to determine why it failed, and then figure out how to keep the replacement from failing similarly, and then make a new part with the updated specs, each and every one of which is a custom job with exacting standards before the update to correct the failure issue.

All those projections are what would have happened if nothing went wrong. No project this complex never has things go wrong. Far better it be delayed to make sure we catch all the problems on Earth rather than have it fail somehow once it's orbiting out at a Lagrange point, because that would be the mother of all service calls to fix it at that point.


Then the correct answer is "Don't come up with bullshiat schedules".

What happens is that people won't pay for a thing that takes a couple decades to build.   So they come up with very optimistic schedules that they can't *POSSIBLY* meet.

And I'm supposed to cut them slack about it?

Sorry.

Don't make promises you can't keep.

Same with the manned flight program.
 
2020-05-21 12:52:46 PM  
Trippy to make the mother after the child
 
2020-05-21 12:54:45 PM  

New Farkin User Name: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was also on track to be launched in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020, right? It's been a year or two away since 2017. IIRC, it was on this same phase of testing a few years ago before getting delayed again due to issues.


Given the location the telescope will be deployed (entirely inaccessible for repair or upgrades) NASA has one chance to get this right. We don't have the chance to do servicing missions as was done with Hubble. If they are doing completely thorough testing while on the ground, that's a good thing.
 
2020-05-21 12:58:17 PM  

dittybopper: And I should also point out that it's been longer since NASA could put astronauts into space than it took from Alan Shepherd's suborbital flight in the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule in May 1961 and Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon  (July 1969, for 8 years 2 months).


That was really just a matter of having virtually unlimited budgets to do that. If NASA had continued forward with funding on par with the Apollo era we would have the 5th Starbucks being opened in the Lunar Colony on the far side.
 
2020-05-21 1:02:53 PM  

mrmopar5287: New Farkin User Name: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was also on track to be launched in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020, right? It's been a year or two away since 2017. IIRC, it was on this same phase of testing a few years ago before getting delayed again due to issues.

Given the location the telescope will be deployed (entirely inaccessible for repair or upgrades) NASA has one chance to get this right. We don't have the chance to do servicing missions as was done with Hubble. If they are doing completely thorough testing while on the ground, that's a good thing.


I absolutely want them to make sure they get everything right here. I will lose my mind if it fails after deployment; I've always been beyond excited for this mission.

It doesn't change the fact that its scheduling is a meme at this point. Like ditty said, I'm not upset that they tested it and found problems, I'm annoyed at how optimistic of a schedule they said and how they keep yanking the launchdate back just when I start to get hyped again like a dollar on a fishing hook
 
2020-05-21 1:13:30 PM  

mrmopar5287: dittybopper: And I should also point out that it's been longer since NASA could put astronauts into space than it took from Alan Shepherd's suborbital flight in the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule in May 1961 and Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon  (July 1969, for 8 years 2 months).

That was really just a matter of having virtually unlimited budgets to do that. If NASA had continued forward with funding on par with the Apollo era we would have the 5th Starbucks being opened in the Lunar Colony on the far side.


Oh, I totally agree, but I would think that we would have been competent enough to have a replacement in the wings.

It took NASA less than 6 years to go from the last Apollo mission in July 1975 (Apollo-Soyuz) to the first Shuttle mission (May 1981).

And the 1970's weren't really what you'd call the salad days of NASA, budget-wise.

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


Yet we managed to replace the Apollo platform with a much more complex system.

Now?  We've spent nearly a decade, and we're only going to do it because Elon Musk has a hard-on for space exploration.

If we waited for NASA, eventually the acronym would stand for "Never Again Sending Astronauts".
 
2020-05-21 1:21:07 PM  

dittybopper: It took NASA less than 6 years to go from the last Apollo mission in July 1975 (Apollo-Soyuz) to the first Shuttle mission (May 1981).


I think that was a matter of development budgets of one project not being interfered with by operational budgets of another project.

Apollo was essentially done in terms of development. Canceling missions 18-21 only saved something like $40 million because the hardware was already built and then used for Apollo-Soyuz and Skylab. It was turn-key type stuff to use it. At that point, budgeting for development could be shifted to the Space Shuttle because the cost of doing those last Apollo missions wasn't that huge.

Later, look at how ridiculously expensive the shuttle operations were. $1 billion per launch? NASA was spending all the money on that and to develop a follow-up program meant money they didn't have. The money was going to keep using the Space Shuttle until it retired, and only after that could they start the long-term development on follow-up programs.
 
2020-05-21 1:25:20 PM  

New Farkin User Name: I will lose my mind if it fails after deployment


My nightmare scenario is one of those "blow up on launch" disasters.
 
2020-05-21 1:39:55 PM  

New Farkin User Name: mrmopar5287: New Farkin User Name: Erm, you do know that the James Webb telescope was also on track to be launched in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020, right? It's been a year or two away since 2017. IIRC, it was on this same phase of testing a few years ago before getting delayed again due to issues.

Given the location the telescope will be deployed (entirely inaccessible for repair or upgrades) NASA has one chance to get this right. We don't have the chance to do servicing missions as was done with Hubble. If they are doing completely thorough testing while on the ground, that's a good thing.

I absolutely want them to make sure they get everything right here. I will lose my mind if it fails after deployment; I've always been beyond excited for this mission.

It doesn't change the fact that its scheduling is a meme at this point. Like ditty said, I'm not upset that they tested it and found problems, I'm annoyed at how optimistic of a schedule they said and how they keep yanking the launchdate back just when I start to get hyped again like a dollar on a fishing hook


This.

And I'd like to point out that I'm a space nerd and have been since I can remember.   Back when other guys had posters of Farrah Fawcett on their walls, I had National Geographic maps of the Moon, Mars, and the night sky.  I still have my copy of this book:

pictures.abebooks.comView Full Size


That my parents gave me in 1982, when it was first publish.

On my office wall at work, I have a printout of the EXECUTIVE.agc program for the Apollo 11 Lunar Module tacked up on my wall.  That's the one that threw the 1201 and 1202 alarms.

If you were to go through my personal library, it's probably a toss-up between books about radio and intelligence, and books about space and space exploration.

In fact, I'm sitting here right now with a 2 meter radio tuned to 145.825 MHz, waiting to hear the packets from the International Space Station.   Oh, and I've got the ISS 2 meter voice freqs programmed into the radio also, because you never know if they're going to be on the radio.

So yeah, I'm a bit of a space nerd.  And NASA has just been pissing me off for the last decade or so.
 
2020-05-21 1:41:34 PM  

mrmopar5287: dittybopper: It took NASA less than 6 years to go from the last Apollo mission in July 1975 (Apollo-Soyuz) to the first Shuttle mission (May 1981).


I think that was a matter of development budgets of one project not being interfered with by operational budgets of another project.


What other manned project have we been running for the last, say, 9 years that has interfered?
 
2020-05-21 1:54:23 PM  

dittybopper: What other manned project have we been running for the last, say, 9 years that has interfered?


International Space Station.

The Space Shuttle had not purpose when it became operational because the Air Force backed out of the program. The ISS was created to give the Space Shuttle something to do. Then the ISS was used as the excuse to keep the Space Shuttle operational instead of retiring it.
 
2020-05-21 1:55:27 PM  

edmo: Meanwhile, Webb telescope last seen out back along the chain link, next to the dumpster.


I know people who are working on Webb. They've continued working on it during lockdown, doing final tests before it is packaged for delivery to French Guiana for launch.
 
2020-05-21 2:00:00 PM  

thornhill: edmo: Meanwhile, Webb telescope last seen out back along the chain link, next to the dumpster.

I know people who are working on Webb. They've continued working on it during lockdown, doing final tests before it is packaged for delivery to French Guiana for launch.


Where, fittingly, the rocket will blow it to smithereens. :/
 
2020-05-21 2:19:17 PM  

mrmopar5287: dittybopper: What other manned project have we been running for the last, say, 9 years that has interfered?

International Space Station.


I was unaware that the ISS was a manned space launch vehicle.

/Learn something wrong everyday.
 
2020-05-21 2:20:08 PM  
She looks like my Nonna.

My Nonna ran numbers for the Boston Mafia, so they have something else in common.

/Nonna also cooked like a wizard
 
2020-05-21 2:26:08 PM  
I worked at GSFC with Nancy Roman, nice lady
 
2020-05-21 10:04:01 PM  

dittybopper: Then the correct answer is "Don't come up with bullshiat schedules".

What happens is that people won't pay for a thing that takes a couple decades to build. So they come up with very optimistic schedules that they can't *POSSIBLY* meet.

And I'm supposed to cut them slack about it?

Sorry.

Don't make promises you can't keep.

Same with the manned flight program.


Doing it your way in the political climate of the last few decades would mean no ultra-high-tech telescope launched into space. Doing it the way they did means that there will be, in the not too distant future, an ultra-high-tech telescope launched into space.

Call me a pragmatist, but I prefer the latter to the former.
 
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