Overbudget Next-Gen Space Telescope Won't Destroy NASA Astrophysics

The James Webb Space Telescope, despite its budget overruns, will not impact NASA's other astrophysics projects, the head of one of the agency's subcommittees tells Wired.com's Lisa Grossman. Astronomers had been worried that the space agency would would plug the Webb's budget holes with other projects' cash.

But according to Boss, an (unnamed) official at NASA headquarters assured him the Astrophysics Division is safe. The agency has already moved administration of JWST from the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, into its own division at NASA headquarters.

"It essentially raises a firewall between JWST and what's left of the astrophysics division," Boss said. "I don't think anything is going to come out of astrophysics, at least nothing major that anyone is willing to talk about. That's very hopeful sounding." The new division will be headed by Richard Howard, NASA's deputy chief technologist, NASA announced Nov. 10. Howard's first order of business will be creating a new budget for JWST by Feb. 2011.

Read the full story at Wired.