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Will the James Webb Telescope Launch prior to 2020?

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and, after a servicing mission in 1993 in order to correct the telescope's optics, it began delivering pictures of the universe of unprecedented quality.

The question of what Hubble's replacement should be was soon posed and in 1996 the planning for Hubble's successor, the James Webb Telescope, started.

Regrettably, the project became plagued by cost and schedule issues. The launch year was set to 2007 in 1997 with a budget plan for 0.5 billion dollars; currently the budget is set at 8.8 billion dollars and the telescope is scheduled for launch between March and June of 2019.

It is asked:Will the James Webb Telescope be launched prior to January 1st, 2020 at 00:00 UTC?

For positive resolution, the boosters of the rocket carrying the telescope must start firing before January 1st, 2020 at 00:00 UTC, rather than the telescope having to have arrived at the L2 Lagrangian point by that time.

The closing time for the question has been set, due to lack of a better idea, to the 49th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landings.

Resolution shall be by credible media report.


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