NASA delays space telescope till 2020
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA.
NASA is delaying the launch of its next-generation space telescope – its highest science priority – until at least 2020.
Top officials said Tuesday that more time is needed to assemble and test the James Webb Space Telescope, which is considered a successor to the long-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
It's the latest in a series of delays for the telescope, dating back a decade. More recently, Webb was supposed to fly this year, but last fall NASA bumped the launch until 2019.
"Simply put, we have one shot to get this right before going into space," said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator of science.
Unlike Hubble, which was serviced regularly by space shuttle astronauts, Webb will orbit the sun at a point about 1 million miles from Earth – unreachable in case of a breakdown.