Soulskill from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.
Nancy Atkinson writes "Why is the James Webb Space Telescope (scheduled to launch in 2013) taking so long to build? Hasn't it had a huge cost over-run and several delays? Nobel Prize winner John Mather is the Project Scientist for JWST, and he addresses these questions and more in an in-depth interview, one of the few he's given about this next-generation telescope and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Quoting: 'The hardest thing to build was the mirror, because we needed something that is way bigger than Hubble. But you can't possibly lift something that big or fit it into a rocket, so you need something that is lighter weight but nonetheless larger, so it has to have the ability to fold up. The mirror is made of light-weight beryllium, and has 18 hexagonal segments. The telescope folds up like a butterfly in its chrysalis and will have to completely undo itself. It's a rather elaborate process that will take many hours. The telescope is huge, at 6.5 meters (21 feet), so it's pretty impressive.'"
We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical
problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.