The new target is approximately May 2020. NASA hasn’t determined the cost of the nearly one-year delay. If the mission breaches the $8 billion limit set for its development after a major review in 2011, Congress will need to reauthorize the program. In fact, NASA has spent $7.3 billion on the project so far, and expected to spend more than $500 million this year. NASA has 70 percent confidence in the projected May 2020 target launch date, and hopes to improve that level before giving Congress an updated cost and schedule for the mission this summer.
The telescope in the satellitte room
Problems encountered in recent months with the observatory’s spacecraft bus, the section that will host the mission’s expandable telescope after liftoff, prompted a review of the schedule engineers need to prepare it for liftoff. All components of the observatory are in a clean room at Northrop Grumman’s satellite factory in Redondo Beach, California, where technicians will connect JWST’s spacecraft platform , still under construction , to the mission’s telescope and science modul. The flagship mission will be the most ambitious astronomical observatory ever launched.