back to article James Webb Space Telescope + luck = long distance astrofun

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 …

  1. 89724905708169238590784I93056703497430967093434677347864785234986359235564854495684561564545876 Bronze badge

    Avoid using Musk!

    It'll die on the launchpad...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avoid using Musk!

      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,

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Avoid using Musk!

        depressingly free from inovation and change

        It just needs to be free from bangs and booms.

        Also, how much would it cost to rebuild JWST. 50% of the cost of the first one? More? Less?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Avoid using Musk!

        it needs to fly on a rocket that is depressingly free from inovation and change,

        Don't worry it's flying on one that blew up on its maiden flight

      3. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Avoid using Musk!

        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).

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Avoid using Musk!

          All fine and dandy... until Ariane VI comes along. I believe they're getting ready with some test firings with first launch in just under two years. :-)

          Don't get me wrong, I'm not poo-pooh'ing SpaceX. The more, the merrier I say! :-)

    2. Chas E. Erath

      Re: Avoid using Musk!

      It is to be launched with an Ariane V rocket from French Guiana. Ariane V rockets have very good reliablity (despite that, there's still a decent chance that it'll blow up on the launch pad... (all 9 billion dollars worth...)).

  2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    James Webb Space Telescope + luck = ...

    ...Reaching its assigned location, unfurling and operating correctly.

    With all the years and billions invested (eggs, meet one basket), I'll be super-happy if it just gets where it's going and lasts at least the planned number of years.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: James Webb Space Telescope + luck = ...

      Let's just hope it gets launched... and that the launch is successful. Finally, lets just hope the darned thing actually works. I'm surprised it hasn't rotted away as long as it's taken to build it.

  3. 89724905708169238590784I93056703497430967093434677347864785234986359235564854495684561564545876 Bronze badge

    RIP Facesat

    Musk justified his existence when he blew up Zuckerberg's space-borne spying device.

    1. handleoclast

      Re: RIP Facesat

      Unwarranted Triumphalism, is that you?

  4. TVU

    James Webb Space Telescope + luck = long distance astrofun

    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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