aggregating accurate understanding composing calibrated futures modeling contingent estimations composing quantitative wisdom modeling critical forecasts mapping the future delivering precise insights crowdsourcing calibrated understanding delivering intelligent insights forecasting critical futures forecasting probable predictions forecasting quantitative wisdom aggregating accurate contingencies crowdsourcing calibrated predictions

Question

Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

If the James Webb Space Telescope is launched, will it succeed in transmitting cosmological data?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or "Webb") is a space telescope in construction that will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will provide greatly improved resolution and sensitivity over the Hubble, and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology. The JWST's is currently scheduled for March 2021.

One of its goals is observing the most distant events and objects in the universe, such as the formation of the first galaxies. Other goals include understanding the formation of stars and planets, and direct imaging of exoplanets and novas. (See also JWST YouTube channel for further information).

Development began in 1996, but the project has had numerous delays and cost overruns with current budget estimated at around $10 billion. A major source of worry is deployment process. For example, in March 2018, NASA delayed the JWST's launch after the telescope's sunshield ripped during a practice deployment.

The deployment process is detailed in this video.

If the James Webb Space Telescope is launched before 2030, will it succeed in transmitting cosmological data?

The question resolves positively if after the ignition of the launch system designed to launch the JWST, the JWST is either fully functional or has defects, but it is still able to carry out important observations not possible by other means at the time of deployment, as announced by credible sources on cosmological matters, such as reputable journals or government space programmes. If launch fails, critically damages the JWST before it succeeds in transmitting cosmological data, or explodes during launch, the question resolves negative.

Important: In case JWST is not launched before 2030, this question will resolve ambiguous.

The question will resolve when either the telescope is announced fully functional, or a previously impossible observation has been cried out, or based on government agencies announcement from which it will follow that carrying out a previously impossible observation will be very unlikely.

The question will close the day before the launch day. Moderators may need to close it retroactively or keep it open for longer than currently set.

{{qctrl.predictionString()}}

Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.