Good Article: The Old and the New in Space Telescopes

Image (Credit): Costs and timescales of past, current and future NASA missions. Cost is at launch, i.e. does not include servicing missions. Development timescale indicates time from survey recommendation to launch. For future missions, the estimated cost is a minimum, assuming immediate start and optimum budget profile. (PhysicsWorld using data taken from the NASA Astro2020 decadal survey)

The above table from a Physics World article, “‘Great observatories’ – the next generation of NASA’s space telescopes, and their impact on the next century of observational astronomy,” gives you some idea about what is already floating in space and what we hope to launch in the future.

Take a look at the article to learn more about the science and politics surrounding space telescopes and the likelihood we will see other great space telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope in the near future.