The launch of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, dubbed the organisation's "most ambitious and complex space observatory ever built", has been delayed.
Due to technical issues and management problems, the telescope will not be ready for at least another 10 months after the planned inauguration date, slipping to 30 March, 2021.
In turn, this will apparently push up the already exorbitant cost of the telescope up to a whopping $9.66 billion, covering the observatory and five years of operations - $837 million higher than earlier estimates.
And because this exceeds NASA's spending projection, it's believed the organisation will have to seek formal re-authorisation of the project.
Director of space science at NASA Headquarters, Thomas Zurbuchen, said that those involved in the project believe the additional costs are worth it due to the science the telescope will produce, but paying for it still won't be easy.
"I think it's too early to really get an exact sense of what's happening there," he said.
"Generally speaking, what I do believe was present in every one of these discussions is the belief that the science is really compelling and remains compelling as we go forward. But I think it would be premature to give beyond that a real sense of where we're going."
The news comes only days after it was announced the incredibly large telescope - once it's actually ready - will use its infrared capabilities to study Jupiter's Great Red Spot.
In a bid to shed some light on the enigmatic storm and build upon data returned from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the mission will use Webb's mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) to create multispectral maps of the Great Red Spot and analyse its thermal, chemical and cloud structures.
The mission will enable the scientists to observe infrared wavelengths that could shed light on what causes the spot's iconic colour, which is often attributed to the sun's ultraviolet radiation interacting with nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus-bearing chemicals that are lifted from Jupiter's deeper atmosphere by powerful atmospheric currents within the storm.
Observations in such wavelengths are also not possible from Earth, and so these wavelengths of light should allow the scientists to see unique chemical by-products of the storm, which would give insight into its composition.
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