Budget pessimism may drive JWST launch date to 2018

Struggling to match schedules with bleak funding realities, NASA and contractor officials say launch of the troubled James Webb Space Telescope could be delayed to 2018, four years later than the date NASA publicly pronounced last fall.
Testifying before a U.S. Senate subcommittee Monday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the agency is still completing a bottoms-up assessment of the next-generation space observatory before announcing a specific launch readiness date and cost projections.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., asked Bolden how much money is needed to put JWST back on track, saying lawmakers need realistic numbers to incorporate into the federal budget process.

Mikulski is the chair of the commerce, justice and science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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