NASA “70 Percent” Confident Of 2020 JWST Launch Written 28 March 2018

Aerospace America reported that “sunshield tears and propulsion leaks discovered during” testing of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are “spurring the agency to delay its launch once again, this time to May 2020.” The delay is likely to push the project’s costs over an $8 billion funding cap mandated by Congress, which according to NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot would require reauthorization of the project. Lightfoot added that an independent panel will review additional costs associated with the delay, and will deliver a report to Congress “this summer.” Lightfoot said that NASA has briefed “congressional staff about the likelihood” that the cost of the JWST will surpass $8 billion, and “informed them that the observatory is complete, it’s just a matter of putting the two halves together and getting the testing done of the total observatory.” According to NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen, the agency is “70 percent” confident of a launch in May 2020. 
Full Story (Aerospace America, by Tom Risen)