After NASA decided that it’s better for most of its staff to work from home in this period, it seems that there are projects that simply have to be put on hold for a while. It’s also the case for the James Webb Space Telescope, which is the successor for the Hubble Space Telescope.
The decision has been made with the obvious purpose of protecting the workforce in these tough moments when the pandemic is on the rise.
When will the work be resumed?
Unfortunately, NASA didn’t provide info for when the James Webb Telescope project will be continued, but it did say that depending on how the situation will keep unfolding, the decisions could be adjusted.
Being scheduled for launch on March 2021, the James Webb Telescope has a staggering estimated cost of $10 billion. The telescope will provide improved infrared resolution and sensitivity over Hubble, and it will have the task of observing very distant events and objects in the Universe. Other goals are to understand better galaxy formation, as well as the formation of stars and planets. As NASA says:
Webb will be the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space. It will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.
NASA also pointed out that the Mars 2020 project remains a high priority, and we can’t be otherwise than very happy for it. As also an official statement from the American space agency says:
The mission of the Mars 2020 rover focuses on surface-based studies of the Martian environment, seeking preserved signs of biosignatures in rock samples that formed in ancient Martian environments with conditions that might have been favorable to microbial life.
Hopefully, the overall situation will improve, and NASA will continue all its projects in a way that will please everybody.