The Astronomy Thread

Burns

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Powered flight is over. Everything working as planned. It will take 30 days to reach Lagrange point 2.

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Kiroy

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324 points of failure and NASA estimates it has a 80% chance of success. You may well get your wish.

And that estimate, coming from a large protective bureaucracy, has got to be incredibly optimistic

10b and 30 years for something with what i'd guess has a 50% chance of working. Government folks.

I wonder if you contracted musk to do this what the cost/timeline/success rate would be.

I'm going to say 1b / 3 years / 90%+ realistic
 

Big Phoenix

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Then we wait 6 months for our minds to be blown!
Might have to wait longer than that. The telescope only has the ability to view a small portion of the sky at any given time as the entire spacecraft most rotate to point he mirror but that is heavily constrained by the limits of the sunshield blocking sunlight. Scott Manley has a good video on one of the big limitations of the telescope;

 
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Masakari

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I imagine a bunch of atheist at NASA and whoever made that found god and are praying like hell it makes it to its orbit and unfolds correctly.

Also a great example of what happens when you have a garbage space program. Have to design literal rube goldberg machines to fit inside small launchers.

It's amazing how over-budget and behind-schedule the satellite was. Maybe it has a clandestine DOD purpose similar to Hubble and the Keyhole satellites that resembled it.

By the way, here's a cool NASA site for the Webb: Where Is Webb? NASA/Webb
 
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Brahma

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Might have to wait longer than that. The telescope only has the ability to view a small portion of the sky at any given time as the entire spacecraft most rotate to point he mirror but that is heavily constrained by the limits of the sunshield blocking sunlight. Scott Manley has a good video on one of the big limitations of the telescope;

Jeez. Just looked at the whole thing. There really is a high chance something goes awry.
 
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CaughtCross

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I wonder if you contracted musk to do this what the cost/timeline/success rate would be.

I'm going to say 1b / 3 years / 90%+ realistic

Funny enough, the JWST was actually made by Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, which is only a few miles away from Space X in Hawthorne.
 

Tripamang

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It makes zero sense to spend all that money figuring out how to build it only to produce one. Realistically the second would of cost a couple billion more? There is no shortage of work that could be done with more and dividing the cost across more units would be a more palatable price tag and it could earn more of the cost back with additional bookings. Unless there is something here I don't understand this process just seems retarded.
 
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Big Phoenix

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It makes zero sense to spend all that money figuring out how to build it only to produce one. Realistically the second would of cost a couple billion more? There is no shortage of work that could be done with more and dividing the cost across more units would be a more palatable price tag and it could earn more of the cost back with additional bookings. Unless there is something here I don't understand this process just seems retarded.
I dont think much of the cooling systems have Earth based applications, which is where a huge chunk of the cost comes from.
 

Furry

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You know the first thing they’ll do is do a deep gaze for super old galaxies. In before they spot a massive elliptical galaxy at the beginning of time and astronomers everywhere flip their shit.
 

Burns

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How many Gov projects come in under budget? Are there any repercussions for knowingly under bidding by large margins, to make it look good, so the politicos you paid off (legally, of course) can get general support? The $10 billion final price was only 3.33 times over budget...

So, the price tag isn't that unfathomable (for government work). They need to engineer every moving part to have a ludicrously low failure rate. Which means testing, testing, redesign, testing, and more testing. Only to have it fail, after 1000s of test, to achieve the target window and then have to start over.

On the livestream pre-game, they show a non-explosive actuator that they use in deploying the sun shield. Every single one needs to work right or it will fuck the shield; there are 178 of them. That is not something they can just trust a manufacturer on, they would need to test thousands of those things in a simulated environment to get trust worthy numbers.

Here is the timestamped (31:16) video of the sun shield material, then the actuator. They also go on to talk about how they need the mirrors to be close to absolute zero to avoid any feedback in the sensors: