JWST – this is how you do it

curious rumour about JWST and the Senate: supposedly major testing of JWST integration is being moved to Johnson Space Center and Marshall is also pickingup some significant system integration action

don’t know enough history to know if this is an actual change in plans, nor can I confirm it at this stage

interesting bit of politicking if true, now we have to see if it does the trick

PS: haven’t seen full Senate appropriations bill – think they only released the summary, but, $500M is cut from NASA and the Senate Launch System is funded – so what was cut?
Also NSF and NIST are cut to get total appropriations in line – but what?


  1. #1 Derek Fox
    September 16, 2011

    I don’t think Congress is under any obligation to spell out the details of NASA’s budget. They provide a bottom-line number and a set of requirements (“including $500m for JWST construction and systems integration and testing…” or “…with no money for JWST beyond that necessary for program termination”, e.g.).

    The Administrator is then responsible for working within the constraints of the budget + directives. If it’s not possible he can go back to Congress and testify….

    In short, full support for JWST ain’t free. In the absence of increased overall budget (need I say, not in the cards) the pain will be shared widely.


  2. #2 Heinrich Monroe
    September 16, 2011

    Major testing of JWST has *always* been planned for JSC. The Chamber A vacuum chamber there is the only tank that large enough and accessible to the spacecraft. That’s where all the vac and cold tests of the integrated structure are going to happen. I think the chamber at GRC is a bit larger, but there are issues in getting the spacecraft there.

    As it is, Chamber A is going to be the hub of the JWST I&T effort. If they’re moving a few other things there, so what?

  3. #3 Steinn Sigurdsson
    September 16, 2011

    @Heinrich – you are right, found the old JWST newsletters and the “FAQ for scientists” – JSC integrated test has been scheduled for a several years, and Marshall segment tests started last year.
    Maybe they just had to prompt the TX and AL delegations on this minor detail.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.