NASA`s Webb telescope hit by cost overruns
Cape Carnival, Florida: A flagship US space observatory designed as a powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope needs another $1.5 billion to make a launch date in 2015, an oversight panel reported on Wednesday.
About $250 million would need to be added to the James Webb Space Telescope project in NASA`s current budget, which agency Associate Administrator Chris Scolese said was unlikely.
"I doubt that we`re going to find $250 million," Scolese said on a conference call with reporters.
In a best-case scenario, the review panel pegged the telescope`s overall cost at $6.5 billion, up from a $5 billion estimate two years ago. That cost will grow even more if the launch date slips beyond September 2015.
The report, ordered by Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, determined that NASA`s cost estimates to develop the technologies and build the observatory were faulty from the beginning.
Scolese said the U.S. space agency had brought in new management to oversee the telescope`s development and clamp down on costs.
"We aren`t in the business of cost overruns. We`re not pleased we had a cost overrun. This is something we have to fix," Scolese said.
The review panel determined the telescope, a potential boon for astronomy, was in good shape technically.
"We`ve all seen the stunning results that have come out from Hubble," said astronomer and review panel member Garth Illingworth, with the University of California Observatories.
"The James Webb (telescope) is a hugely more powerful facility than Hubble, 100 times more at least. The science just underpins so much of what we`re looking to do in the future," he said.
Hubble, carried into orbit outside the distortion of Earth`s atmosphere by a space shuttle in 1990, has been a vital research tool and led to breakthroughs in astrophysics including imaging the first galaxies.
In a statement, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said, "I am disappointed we have not maintained the level of cost control we strive to achieve -- something the American taxpayer deserves in all of our projects."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Afzal Guru row: JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested
- Missing girl from Ghaziabad, Dipti Sarna returns; reunited with family
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU - Part II
- Watch: How students at JNU showcased anti-India spirit! - Part II
- Kumar Vishwas' birthday bash: Ajit Doval, BJP and RSS leaders attend; Arvind Kejriwal missing
- Afzal Guru row: JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested by Delhi Police
- Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna reaches home, police and family remain tight-lipped over her recovery
- Was abducted, blindfolded for four hours; Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna narrates her ordeal
- Fitoor movie review: Tabu overpowers, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapur leave a lasting impact!