“I appreciate the work done by the James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Independent Comprehensive Review Panel (ICRP), and want to thank Sen. Barbara Mikulski for initiating this review. The ICRP report makes clear that, while JWST technical performance has been consistent with the project plan, the cost performance and coordination have been lacking, and I agree with these findings.
“No one is more concerned about the situation we find ourselves in than I am, and that is why I am reorganizing the JWST Project at Headquarters and the Goddard Space Flight Center, and assigning a new senior manager at Headquarters to lead this important effort. The new JWST program director will have a staff of technical and cost personnel provided by the Science Mission Directorate and report to the NASA associate administrator. This will ensure more direct reporting to me and increase the project’s visibility within the agency’s management structure. Additionally, the Goddard Space Flight Center’s project office has been reorganized to report directly to the center director. That office is undergoing personnel changes to specifically address the issues identified in the report.
“I am encouraged the ICRP verified our assessment that JWST is technically sound, and that the project continues to make progress and meet its milestones. However, I am disappointed we have not maintained the level of cost control we strive to achieve — something the American taxpayer deserves in all of our projects.
“NASA is committed to finding a sustainable path forward for the program based on realistic cost and schedule assessments. I would like to express my appreciation to the ICRP’s chair, John Casani, and the rest of the team for producing an objective, unbiased and comprehensive assessment.”
The panel’s report is available online at: