NASA has pushed back the launch date of the James Webb Space Telescope. The launch was to take place in October in South America, but is now scheduled for sometime between March and June of 2019.
The intricate telescope, which will be able to “see” the infrared spectrum in addition to visible light—should give scientists a view further into space than its predecessor, the Hubble space telescope.
The delay does not result from any concern about hardware or performance, Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate said in a NASA statement. “Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected.”
The change of plans will not change the project’s $8.7 billion budget, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The telescope, also backed by NASA partners the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency, will act as their primary space observatory for the foreseeable future.
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Per the statement, during a routine assessment, the space agency determined that it needed more time to perform required tasks of integrating all the satellite’s subsystems.
Much of the telescope was assembled at the Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Md. before being shipping to Houston’s Johnson Space Center in May where the work continues.