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James Webb Space Telescope Launch Set For March 2021

NASA says it is making mission completion a top priority


NASA technicians lift the James Webb Space Telescope with a crane and move it inside a clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

NASA is setting a new timeline for the James Webb Space Telescope, moving the launch date to March of 2021.

An independent review found "excessive optimism" in planning for tests and "human error" as partial causes of the delays.

The telescope is more than a decade late, but reviewers say NASA continue with the project, describing it as having "awesome scientific potential."

John Mather is a senior scientist on the project. He responded to the review in a video tweeted out by NASA.

"We do risky things because it's the only way to get at the answers that we're after,” Mather said. “You can't say ‘I don't really want to know' cause we do really wanna know. But the only way to get at the answer is to build this kind of equipment."

NASA said the delay will push the cost of the telescope to more than its $8 billion limit set by Congress. Because of that, it will have to get the telescope reauthorized by lawmakers.