Written by By O. Yoni Appelbaum, CNN Washington, D.C.
The launch of this telescope could be delayed by a lawsuit.
The team of researchers behind the Webb Telescope is suing the company that created the the “original design” of the telescope.
Wiliam Armijo/ESA/ESA-Hubble, NASA/MPS/DLR/IDA, TAS/EF/ATLAS (ATLAS Space Telescope Soars ahead of the first visible light images from the Webb Telescope)
Their criticism? That the technology to be used in the telescope is nearly a century old. (And, they say, much of it is still in the air — and if the space researchers could take pictures with it, they could find it).
In a lawsuit filed on Friday, the Webb Telescope Alliance states that Turcom, of Italy, is selling an outdated telescope part that will prevent them from using the system, when it eventually reaches service in the mid-2020s. The $6.5 billion telescope project aims to launch in 2023 and will be the world’s most powerful optical telescope.
In its suit, the Webb Telescope Alliance says that Turcom’s tech will render them unable to assemble the optical part of the telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Instead, the company will need to manufacture the part in Italy.
To date, no Webb Telescope piece has been assembled on Earth. Instead, observatories — and the artists who built them — build the telescope parts.
Surrealist artist Salvador Dali sketched the concept of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched on April 24, 1990.
Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992, Dali’s artwork included a hand-carved depiction of the Hubble Space Telescope seen from space.
The rocket that will launch the telescope has already been built; it will be launched by a team of 18 engineers, primarily from the Deep Space Network. The telescope is just about ready to launch into space, with the launch slated for the summer of 2020.