Avoid using Musk!
It'll die on the launchpad...
Researchers hope that NASA's budgetary-challenged James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) may score some good fortune with a boost from galactic alignment. While European Space Agency (ESA) scientists are breathless with excitement at the volume of star survey data received from the Gaia satellite, NASA researchers are comforting …
I've been a huge fan of SpaceX for many years, but in this instance I agree with you. Given the huge cost of JWST it needs to fly on a rocket that is depressingly free from inovation and change,
Which it would be because SpaceX now has Block 5 locked down. There will be no further innovation on F9 - it does everything it needs to do and will be supplanted by BFR.
34 consecutive successful flights for F9 since the CRS-7 RUD suggest a solid product.
By the time JWST is ready to go, they'll have double that number of Block 5-configuration launches under their belt (there are another 21 F9 launches planned for this year alone, most of which will be B5, since they've only got a couple of B4s left, which are getting expended on their next flights).
Indeed all going well, they may well have a better reliability record than Ariane 5 (the Ariane5-ECA variant JWST is booked on has a 64/66 success record at the moment. Based on SpaceX's rapidly developing cadence, F9 will match it this year - F9 as a whole is 51/53, and Block5 could match it in another couple of years, starting with the first B5 launch next week).
That's nothing. If you go 550 astronomical units (8.228e+10km), or 11x Eris' distance. from the Sun, you can look back and use the Sun itself as one huge gravitational lens - look up the Fast Outgoing Cyclopean Astronomical Lens (FOCAL) project.
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