JWST Costs Continue to Climb

JWST Costs Continue to Climb

Space News reports today on the mounting costs for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the successor to the Hubble Space Telecope. Amy Klamper writes that the costs for FY2011 alone have grown from $260 million to $470 million and quotes Jon Morse, NASA’s Director of Astrophysics, as saying that the cost projections for FY2011 and FY2012 provided by Northrop Gruman Aerospace Systems, JWST’s prime contractor, and its subcontractors “‘appear to exceed the available reserves.” Cost growth in one of the instruments, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), being developed by the University of Arizona in Tucson and Lockheed Martin, was also identified as a problem.

Klamper earlier reported on a June 29, 2010 letter sent to NASA by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA and a strong supporter of Goddard Space Flight Center, where the project is managed. The letter reportedly directed NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden to assemble an independent team immediately to make recommendations about the project.

Today’s Space News story focuses on a new report from the National Research Council (NRC) on cost growth in space and earth science programs. The newspaper cites NASA’s Associate Administrator for Science, Ed Weiler, as indicating at a NASA Advisory Council meeting on July 13 that while he agrees with the NRC report, many of its recommendations were applied to the JWST program “without success.”

User Comments

SpacePolicyOnline.com has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.