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What's the Point of the James Webb Space Telescope?

Dec 29, 2019
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Terrible headline.

Right now on the front page of Google news sits the question, 'What is the point of the James Webb Space Telescope?'

Hordes of headline skimmers on news aggregates will see that leading question, assume that there is no real value, and move on with that emotional memory tucked away forever more.

It leads people to assume there is no real point. Not the best message.

Sell the anticipation of major discovery
 
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Reactions: rod

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Terrible headline.

Right now on the front page of Google news sits the question, 'What is the point of the James Webb Space Telescope?'

Hordes of headline skimmers on news aggregates will see that leading question, assume that there is no real value, and move on with that emotional memory tucked away forever more.

It leads people to assume there is no real point. Not the best message.

Sell the anticipation of major discovery
FYI, I enjoyed the report but can see why some/many may argue against the JWST. The cost apparently is 10 billion dollars :) The JWST will operate some 1.5 million km from Earth according to this report, what looks like Lagrangian points. JWST focusing on the infrared part of the spectrum may be able to do some very useful astronomy. I will wait and see for the returns on the investment :)
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Enjoyable 12 minute video, some PR stuff :) The JWST will be at the L2 point according to the video and look for early stars etc., forming in the early universe, perhaps 13.5 billion light-year distance. I use this cosmology calculator to look at z numbers and their conversions, COSMOLOGY CALCULATORS Number one and flat universe model, the z numbers JWST is looking for seem >=10.0. Presently I think there is very little documented in this redshift range, 11.0 or so is the largest reported this year.
 
Dec 30, 2019
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The Webb Telescope should be mothballed until two things happen:
1: Get the bugs out of the Arianne launch vehicle - had we launched last January, Webb would have become a 9 Billion dollar meteor catcher.
2: Develop a set of "Space Tugs" that can ferry atmospherics, fuel, materials, and people to the Moon and LEO, and more important, to L2 to service Webb when needed. Hubble needed 5 "servicing" missions & maybe a 6th too. The "Tugs" will never return to Earth - just LEO for re-supply, crew exchange, etc.

By all means, focus on getting Webb set for L2, but DO NOT launch Webb without Tugs at the ready!!!
 
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Reactions: rod

rod

Oct 22, 2019
1,033
314
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The Webb Telescope should be mothballed until two things happen:
1: Get the bugs out of the Arianne launch vehicle - had we launched last January, Webb would have become a 9 Billion dollar meteor catcher.
2: Develop a set of "Space Tugs" that can ferry atmospherics, fuel, materials, and people to the Moon and LEO, and more important, to L2 to service Webb when needed. Hubble needed 5 "servicing" missions & maybe a 6th too. The "Tugs" will never return to Earth - just LEO for re-supply, crew exchange, etc.

By all means, focus on getting Webb set for L2, but DO NOT launch Webb without Tugs at the ready!!!
I was wondering about servicing JWST at L2 too. I remember when HST was opened up - there was a mirror problem and the space shuttle operating then need a repair mission. Open up JWST with a mirror problem - ouch, that is $10 billion error :)
 
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Dec 30, 2019
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Friend who works on the JWST gives it a 15% chance of success...way too complex to be understood by any one engineer.

Also, although not announced, will definitely be delayed again. All of the allotted glitch time has been used up. Another 6 months to 12 months will be added. Look at a late 2022 launch...earliest.
 
Dec 31, 2019
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I hate that they limited the JWST to infrared and called a replacement to the Hubble. The Hubble is still producing amazing pictures and science. We need to build a Hubble 2.0 in cooperation with ESA and other agencies to provide the missing data from the JWST.
 
Jan 2, 2020
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Friend who works on the JWST gives it a 15% chance of success...way too complex to be understood by any one engineer.

Also, although not announced, will definitely be delayed again. All of the allotted glitch time has been used up. Another 6 months to 12 months will be added. Look at a late 2022 launch...earliest.
10 billion $ for 15% success chance. That is rough. I refuse to believe NASA will fail at a project of this magnitude.
 

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