Question I am concerned about maintenance issues that may be encountered on deployment, activation and maintenance of the Jim Webb Telescope.

Oct 26, 2019
Visit site
If the Webb Telescope is located approximately 1 million miles from Earth, what are the plans to perform maintenance on gyros, fuel for thrusters, image sensor replacements and upgrades, telemetry systems, etc? We already know that "Hubble" (which I personally consider to be the greatest scientific achievement of the 20th Century) had these issues, as well as "new glasses - due to defect." With stated performance in resolution capability to be ~100 times greater than Hubble, and currently no manned vehicle - such as the Shuttle - available to service Webb, and with all the troubles we have had w/"Webb" in the lab, the issues associated with placing "Webb" in orbit, (vibration, etc.), we have nothing to service this very complex device once it is placed in orbit. It looks like we need a new "Space Truck!"

A modified X37B to carry astronauts appears to be to little for the job.

Basically, what are the planned contingencies for maintaining this very complex platform?
I look forward to your response and am very impressed for the creation of this forum that you preside over.

Robley B. Melton, Jr.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: jimbob


Staff member
Aug 22, 2019
Visit site
I think you're likely correct that we'd need to develop optimal technologies for servicing these types of incredibly sensitive bits of equipment.

My hope is that they built everything with a clear eye on just how important every little detail would be, but I suspect time will tell.

It might actually be worth asking our friend Charles White in his current AMA right here. I suspect he'd be a great resource.

Thanks for being part of the community!