JWST is Still Killing Nobel Prize Caliber Science
Back on October 4th of 2011 TEA Party in Space reported that Nobel Prize scientists acknowledged that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was killing science. Our position was mocked and ridiculed. Supporters of the JWST said that the information was taken out of context (I guess you needed an IQ over 140 to think that). Now comes another article from Space News that again quotes Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg is lamenting that government funding for big ticket science projects may be finished...
"JW" will go down in NASA's history as one of the biggest boondoggles in its history, it will eclipse Constellation. But so we are not taking the good laureate out of context, I want to quote him directly from the piece:
“It’s facing accusations of overspending, but the problem again is that at the funding levels being requested, it’s being stretched out to the point where it’s getting more and more expensive."
Lets tackle the first argument of his sentence - It’s facing accusations of overspending.
Mr. Nobel laureate - it is not an accusation to say that JWST is overspending, the laws of economics tell every American citizen who has to meet a budget that this project is more than overspending, its abusive. Simply overspending wouldn't be an issue. JWST isn't overspending, it is a complete economic and management failure. JWST is a black hole inside the NASA budget that is sucking Science Mission Directorate (SMD) dry. How is it an "accusation" when this project started at $1.6 billion in 2002 and now sits at a cool $8.8 billion in 2012. That isn't overspending, that is abuse of the United States Taxpayer and NASA at the hands of crony capitalists in the senate - ie Senator Barbara Mikulski and friends.
The second argument, first part- but the problem again is that at the funding levels being requested.
Mr. Nobel laureate - our nation is in an economic crisis of biblical per portions. Never in the history of this great republic have we faced such a serious threat. The threat is so great. There is a complete lack of fiscal responsibility of the president, the House, the Senate, and our civil servants. They all spend taxpayer dollars with wonton disregard and are completely immune to the repercussions of poor judgment.
JWST is getting OVER HALF A BILLION DOLLARS this year alone... but you are right, the problems with James Webb are the funding levels.
The astrophysics directorate is starved of resources to fund other missions... but you are right, the problems with James Webb are the funding levels.
Planetary science's Mars exploration program is getting screwed with the loss of two Mars missions which are directly attributable to James Webb,... but you are right, the problems with James Webb are the funding levels.
Heliophysicis is almost now all but non-existent... but you are right, the problems with James Webb are the funding levels.
The JWST webinar told us all that everyone (Planetary Sciences, Heliophysics, Astrophysics) would have to "contribute" to ensure the success of JWST... but you are right, the problems with James Webb are the funding levels.
The second argument, second part - it’s being stretched out to the point where it’s getting more and more expensive.
This kind of argument could have worked in the 90s, but not today. We have the ability to scrutinize the leadership of this project and the real factors which have caused the woes that are JWST. All one has to do is look at the causal factors of JWST to see that it is not the lack of funding, but the lack of leadership and accountability. It is well documented in the Independent Comprehensive Review Board (ICRB) that project managers deceived congress about the costs of the program. There have been issues with the simulators that have caused enormous delays, and there was never any foresight into potential problems developing the needed technology.
This is the problem with our space program today. Excuses - everybody has them. The best thing that could happen to NASA is the complete cancellation of this project and the people still at NASA who are responsible need to be let go. This kind of thing should have never happened and it is shameful we have politicians who fight for this kind of graft.