Long before Banks and General Motors set out to "get too big to fail," NASA had made it a core value, and there's no better example of how far NASA from the Can-Do Group that provided us with the Apollo program when the James Webb Space Telescope fiasco
proposed and funded 1996 as the successor to Hubble, they had told Congress in 2002 that 11 years – more than it took for the Apollo program to bring people from the ground up to the moon – there would not be enough time to send a mirror out of our atmosphere.
Then it was delayed again, and again. Credits: NASA / Chris Gunn Engineers at Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, California Sa Let's say, they put the two halves of JWST together. Everything seems to fit, so at least one group did not use a metric and standard, as other NASA programs have done. They just do not know if it works, there is no electricity. But at least that
If JWST actually starts in 2021
Hubble is almost 30 years old now. It was 6 when JWST was approved. With all the money we spent on JWST, we might have been able to create one or two intermediate programs between what JWST might do and the 800 million years after the Big Bang Hubble "sees".
With smaller programs, JWST would have a much better chance of actually working in 2021.
We hope it works, but if it does not, then the era of great science in America might be over in space it's in physics. Europeans do not have a GAO version that tells the EU that they have to keep an eye on the ESA because their program managers say everything for money, as the US does. They deal with projects that have a certain amount of self-confidence that they can complete.