In DepthAstronomy

NASA weighs trimming WFIRST to hold down costs

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Science  27 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6362, pp. 433
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6362.433

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Summary

NASA will have to scale back its next big orbiting observatory to avoid busting its budget and affecting other missions, an independent panel says. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is due for launch in the mid-2020s, but is already about 12% overbudget just a year after NASA gave the project the green light. The panel faulted NASA managers for setting the WFIRST team a number of challenges that made the project more complicated than originally anticipated. Now, the team will be directed to retain the basic elements of the mission but to seek cost-saving reductions without jeopardizing its science goals.