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#4428168 - 06/29/18 02:56 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
It is OBSCENELY over budget. F-35 doesn't come close.


bs_sign

Last time I looked, F-35 is 163 BILLION over budget and seven years late....


Comparing the raw price tag of ONE spacecraft vs the total program cost for THOUSANDS of fighter aircraft is not logical.

F-35 is not 10-20 times more costly than originally estimated, JWST is. JWST will also be at least 14 years late if/when it is ever launched. And if/when it is launch I will not be at all surprised it the hugely complicated unfolding process fails.


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#4428172 - 06/29/18 03:42 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Ssnake
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
It is OBSCENELY over budget. F-35 doesn't come close.


bs_sign

Last time I looked, F-35 is 163 BILLION over budget and seven years late....


Comparing the raw price tag of ONE spacecraft vs the total program cost for THOUSANDS of fighter aircraft is not logical.

F-35 is not 10-20 times more costly than originally estimated, JWST is. JWST will also be at least 14 years late if/when it is ever launched. And if/when it is launch I will not be at all surprised it the hugely complicated unfolding process fails.


Dude, nobody is denying this thing went WAY over budget. But the time to cancel would have been long ago, not now, not after going this far. And nobody (not even NASA) is going to be surprised if the thing fails. Disappointed, yes, but not entirely surprised. This stuff is HARD. It literally IS "rocket science", combined with much more...

And 7 billion is JACK compared to the USA budget. It's worth a shot (pun not intended).

#4428173 - 06/29/18 03:45 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
And if/when it is launch I will not be at all surprised it the hugely complicated unfolding process fails.


I give you the Mars rovers (which had to do it in gravity, dust, and atmosphere, AND after a pretty rough landing) as a possible suggestion that they can and will pull it off....

And yes, it could fail too....

#4428186 - 06/29/18 08:15 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Comparing the raw price tag of ONE spacecraft vs the total program cost for THOUSANDS of fighter aircraft is not logical.

Dude, you were the one to start with absurd apples to oranges comparisons, and factually incorrect. I'm all for a rational debate, but not if it's a one-sided affair where one can throw out accusations like a machine gun and leaves the time-consuming fact-checking to others. I know what an OODA loop in internet arguments is.

#4428199 - 06/29/18 10:18 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Comparing the raw price tag of ONE spacecraft vs the total program cost for THOUSANDS of fighter aircraft is not logical.

Dude, you were the one to start with absurd apples to oranges comparisons.....



No, I wasn't:


Originally Posted by Zamzow
No denial of cost overruns here, but that's usually part of reality whenever technological envelopes are pushed hard - just like with, say, the F-35.


“Together, let us take up the challenge to reawaken America's religious and moral heart, recognizing that a deep and abiding faith in God is the rock upon which this great Nation was founded.” - Ronald Reagan, May 4, 1982
#4428201 - 06/29/18 10:20 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: Zamzow]  
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Originally Posted by Zamzow

And 7 billion is JACK compared to the USA budget. It's worth a shot (pun not intended).



It is thinking like that that leads to these sorts of cost overruns, "Oh it's just a "few" billion."

A few billion wasted here and a few more wasted there and before you know it you're talking about "real money".


“Together, let us take up the challenge to reawaken America's religious and moral heart, recognizing that a deep and abiding faith in God is the rock upon which this great Nation was founded.” - Ronald Reagan, May 4, 1982
#4428315 - 06/30/18 06:40 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: Dart]  
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i agree with a lot posted here.

#4428329 - 06/30/18 12:41 PM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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One can't argue about the cost without factoring in return on investment. If the James Webb Telescope is half as successful as the Hubble Telescope, it has the potential to reshape our understanding of the universe. In addition, the technologies developed from our space exploration and research program have been beneficial to a very wide array of products that ended up improving our quality of life.

I think that we can all agree that there's government waste. But the space program typically provides a disproportionate benefit for the cost.


You're only young once, but you can be immature forever.
#4428398 - 07/01/18 05:58 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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Arguing with sunken costs is a fallacy. But that fallacy isn't limited to the argument why you can't stop financing (because of all the effort already invested). It also extends to the simplistic "trend forecast" - because costs were exceeded, they will keep exceeding at the rate of the past. 90% or more of the costs of the program are demonstrably spent - the construction of the telescope is complete. Saying at this stage that there is "no end in sight" is not rational. The question therefore is, for what the JWT promises to deliver, are the expected remaining expenditures worth it?
Yes, absolutely.

BTW, this isn't just US taxpayer money, it's an international effort. My taxes are in this as well.

#4428417 - 07/01/18 01:03 PM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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Was sunken cost a fallacy when the cost half a billion dollars became a billion? When one billion became two? When two billion became four? When four billion became six and then seven and now over eight and headed for ten?


Simple question: How much is too much?


“Together, let us take up the challenge to reawaken America's religious and moral heart, recognizing that a deep and abiding faith in God is the rock upon which this great Nation was founded.” - Ronald Reagan, May 4, 1982
#4428421 - 07/01/18 02:54 PM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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Well, we can of course all complain about the political system rewarding intentional and deliberate lowballing of expected costs. But that's nothing specific to JWT, it applies to pretty much ANY project - publicly funded or not - that explores entirely new technological solutions. You know what the solution is when you have found it, but to find out what the solution is you have to conduct one experiment after another until you find the formula that works. You can be lucky on the first try. But of course, when you have an instrument like JWT that can rely only on very few already established technologies, you have to conduct experiements for hundreds of different components. Furthermore, you can't develop to "will work with 95% likelihood". In space, nobody can hear you scream for a maintenance technician. You need to develop every component to the highest possible reliability standard to minimize the chances that things will go wrong.
This rigorous approach is costly, particularly for a thing that will be built exactly once.

There is also no accepted and established method to calculate the project risks in a way that you could reliably say in advance how much the whole thing will cost. It is true, private companies aren't run like this. Private companies however do not provide these kinds of instruments either. At all. There is only one way to do this, and that involves public money. Or it isn't happening. So the question is whether the managers of JWT were fraudulent in their original estimations. Or if those who approved of the project were willfully ignorant and approved something about which they KNEW that the costs would balloon. Or you could ask the question whether Hubble was worth the nine billion dollars, and if so, whether another space telescope that will be leaps and bounds more useful than HST would be worth a similar amount of money. In my opinion it's a solid yes. Therefore I'm not upset about those eight billion. Maybe it would have been "possible" to build eight JWTs at one billion each where the first seven would fail for various reasons, and the eighth then would finally work, avoiding all the mistakes that were made before. "Possible" maybe, but certainly not "politically feasible". These guys get only a single shot. So they are super-diligent to make it work on the first try. And that of course causes ballooning costs.

So, the NASA's fear of critics criticizing cost overruns contributes to the cost overruns (the irony...).
That's not the sole or even main reason, but it is undeniably a contributing factor. It's primarily the necessity to push the technical envelope combined with the need to get it working on the first attempt. That IS a very demanding job. When, say, a car manufacturer develops an entirely limousine and you add up the engineering hours, the costs of building a new manufacturing plant and assembly line, I guarantee you that the costs will be similar. I remember from the early 1990s that the development of JUST the rear axle of the Mercedes 190 series cost more than 800 million of today's dollars, and that's just one component, and Mercedes had the benefit of a huge mountain of already tried and tested components to rely on. If a Mercedes breaks down, well, you call the nearest workshop to tow the thing and repair it. NASA doesn't have that option.


At the end of the day you can still say that in your opinion no scientific result could possibly justify the expense of eight billion. That's a personal value judgment that eludes debate. But a statement that the only possible explanations for such cost overruns would be gross incompetence or even criminal intent does not convince me. There are plenty of other explanations possible that are perfectly legitimate. Do cost overruns make me happy? Certainly not. But there are state-sponsored tasks that are very predictable, and here cost overruns are pretty much always due to mismanagement. And then there are tasks that incur a very high natural development risk. In these cases cost overruns may have any number of explanations and contributing factors that often compound on each other, e.g. delays in the development of a component on the critical path will cause delays on dependent tasks, and the mere fact that a delay occurs is guaranteed to cause cost inflation. Like, you can't send the specialists homewhile they are waiting for the other component. Fire them, and they are gone, and then you have just killed the whole project in your attempt to save some money.

Heck, last I heard was that when private households are planning to remodel the kitchen, the average sum that is projected is 10,000.- USD. The average amount spent is 20,000.- USD, and the median is even higher. So, whenever someone says that cost overruns are a sign of bad management I can only point out that most Americans are equally bad with tasks that are, actually, much better to plan and to project than a space telescope that has never been built before.

#4428686 - 07/03/18 05:58 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
I remember from the early 1990s that the development of JUST the rear axle of the Mercedes 190 series cost more than 800 million of today's dollars


Did you type correctly there? Even EIGHT million would seem absurd to me - was there something somehow esoteric and special about this axle?

#4428728 - 07/03/18 03:20 PM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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I have no idea. It sounded absurd back then but was confirmed by Daimler-Benz. I'm just using this as an example of how much money can be sunk in developing something to highest engineering standards; Mercedes is only developing to "high" standards for consumer items - cars - that are expected to undergo regular maintenance. If you think of the construction of a steel mill - say, Thyssen-Krupp's Santa Cruz plant in Brazil, it cost 2.3 billion dollars as well. Now, that may not be a typical example, maybe a more regular price would be in the order of 1.5BN. Nevertheless, it demonstrates that even private corporations can experience cost overruns although they are supposedly managed better.

Again, my main point is just this, that one can explain the cost overruns of JWT without having to resort to malice or incompetence. Even diligent work can result in such cases if the project risks cannot be adequately estimated in advance. Also, that's certainly a factor - complete honesty in cost estimations simply isn't appreciated by the public.

#4428776 - 07/03/18 07:37 PM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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It's also totally not a method of funnelling Black funding to Northrop wink

Nate

#4428783 - 07/03/18 08:26 PM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4

Simple question: How much is too much?


Waiting.....


“Together, let us take up the challenge to reawaken America's religious and moral heart, recognizing that a deep and abiding faith in God is the rock upon which this great Nation was founded.” - Ronald Reagan, May 4, 1982
#4428811 - 07/04/18 01:37 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: piper]  
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This much

#4429215 - 07/07/18 12:09 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by F4UDash4

Simple question: How much is too much?


Waiting.....


I can't put a number on it - I am not qualified to do that (neither are you actually).

I can say this though - given a choice between overpaying for something or LITERALLY flushing money down the toilet I'll take the former, every time.

Because aborting this project now WOULD amount to "flushing money down the toilet". A massive amount!

#4429222 - 07/07/18 12:36 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
JWST has sucked up funds that could have gone to other, better managed, space exploration uses.


I believe Ssnake is waiting for an answer to a "simple question" as well:

"What are those other projects that you suggest could have been financed, had the money not gone into JWT, and what would be their contribution to science?"

#4429237 - 07/07/18 02:51 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: Zamzow]  
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Originally Posted by Zamzow
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
JWST has sucked up funds that could have gone to other, better managed, space exploration uses.


I believe Ssnake is waiting for an answer to a "simple question" as well:

"What are those other projects that you suggest could have been financed, had the money not gone into JWT, and what would be their contribution to science?"



Unlike you I won't shirk the question.

Cancelled NASA missions that could have been funded instead of JWST:

Project Prometheus
International X-ray Observatory
Terrestrial Planet Finder
Space Interferometry Mission
Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter
Europa Orbiter


“Together, let us take up the challenge to reawaken America's religious and moral heart, recognizing that a deep and abiding faith in God is the rock upon which this great Nation was founded.” - Ronald Reagan, May 4, 1982
#4429350 - 07/08/18 01:46 AM Re: James Webb Space Telescope...delayed again [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Zamzow
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
JWST has sucked up funds that could have gone to other, better managed, space exploration uses.


I believe Ssnake is waiting for an answer to a "simple question" as well:

"What are those other projects that you suggest could have been financed, had the money not gone into JWT, and what would be their contribution to science?"



Unlike you I won't shirk the question.

Cancelled NASA missions that could have been funded instead of JWST:

Project Prometheus
International X-ray Observatory
Terrestrial Planet Finder
Space Interferometry Mission
Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter
Europa Orbiter



I didn't shirk the question, I merely stated I don't know the answer to it.

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