Europa lander
The telescope’s combined science instruments and optical element exits the massive thermal vacuum testing chamber after about 100 days of cryogenic testing inside it. Scientists and engineers at Johnson Space Center put JWST through a series of tests designed to ensure the telescope functioned as expected in an extremely cold, airless environment akin to that of space. Credit: NASA
LUVOIR
So far, NASA has launched just one of the 15 missions recommended in the 2007 Earth science decadal survey: the Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP, mission. The $915 million mission launched Jan. 31, 2015. Less than six months later, its radar failed but its radiometer continues to function.
JWST thermal vacuum chamber
Soil Moisture Active Passive is the only one of 15 NASA Earth science missions recommended in the 2007 decadal survey that has flown. Credit: NASA