The IST’s launch to low earth orbit has been delayed until 2025 due to cracks forming in the exterior glass. The decision to postpone the launch comes with little surprise as the exterior is visibly bent from high winds.
The 9.6 million dollar unbending of the exterior stationary solar radiation deflectors is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Further inspections and launch readiness activities are scheduled at a vigorous pace.
The research laboratory was designed with a curved design to withstand the pressure of space. Director of Space Operations, Bethany Bradley, mentioned how “she’s busy with all the paperwork and decision making.” The duty of the Director of Space Operations does not begin until the IST is in a stable orbit. The Launch Supervisor could not be reached for comment.