February 1, 2022
Every do-it-yourselfer knows how hard it can be to declare a project complete. Will another turn of the bolt or brushstroke make things better or worse? That was roughly the choice NASA faced a year before the Dec. 25 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Would more testing close more technical risks in the nearly $10 billion project or create new ones? In the end, NASA decided against more testing. NASA’s Jesse Leitner and Tupper Hyde describe the assessment they performed.