ScienceDaily: New Technologies For James Webb Space Telescope Approved Early:

More than a year ahead of schedule, a team of independent experts has approved all 10 new technologies developed for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Many of the technologies are revolutionary [blah blah blah]

Scientists now think that all of these inventions will be able to survive the flight into space and work correctly. Among the new technologies are: near and mid-infrared detectors, sunshield materials, microshutters and wavefront sensing and control. All inventions, with the exception of wavefront sensing and control are “cryogenic”

Can I tell you how nervous this makes me? In six years an agency that’s deeply underfunded, whose administration has fare no better than that of others under the current regime, is going to put a bunch of untested tech, all of which has to work together, into orbit. Oh, and much if not all of it will fail, perhaps permanently, if not kept cold. Which means either they’re going to have (also untested) large-scale cryo refrigerators on board or else will have to schedule missions to refill the damn thing on a regular basis.

It’s a good thing we’re not the only country doing this kind of stuff.


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