4 votes

NASA's most expensive science project: 9 times the est. cost and more than a decade late.

This is just laughable. And all we will hear over the next few weeks is how there is just no where to cut spending....

From GAO Report out today.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has provided significantly more time and money to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) than previously planned...

JWST is one of NASA's most expensive and technologically advanced science projects, intended to advance understanding of the origin of the universe. In 2011, JWST was rebaselined with a life cycle cost estimate of $8.8 billion and a launch readiness date in October 2018--almost nine times the cost and more than a decade later than originally projected in 1999. Concern about the magnitude of JWST's cost increase and schedule delay and their effects on NASA's progress on other high-priority missions led conferees for the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, to direct GAO to report on the project. Specifically, GAO assessed (1) the extent to which NASA's revised cost and schedule estimates are reliable based on best practices, (2) the major risks and technological challenges JWST faces, and (3) the extent to which NASA has improved oversight of JWST. To do this, GAO compared NASA's revised cost and schedule estimates with best practice criteria, reviewed relevant contractor and NASA documents, and interviewed project and contractor officials.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-4



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why do we need

another telescope? I mean at least with the space program there has been a huge return on the investment with satellites, but what possible reason could they give for building another telescope.

In terms of knowledge gained...

...the Hubble telescope sure has done a stellar job. Nothing wrong with a bigger and better telescope, but the wisdom of the path chosen to get there with taxpayer money should be questioned.