Over Nine Billion Dollars of SRE Lessons - the James Webb Space Telescope

Thursday, 27 October, 2022 - 11:0011:40

Robert Barron, IBM


Over a decade of hard labor and over nine billion dollars invested... it was imperative that the James Webb Space Telescope launched perfectly and that every possible point of failure passed successfully. This was a deployment that any SRE would have been proud of!

After only a few months of activity, the James Webb Space Telescope has already proven to be a spectacular engineering and scientific success. Webb's predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, famously required many astronaut visits to repair and upgrade it. But Webb was designed to fly further away from Earth, out of reach of repair by either astronaut or SRE. Any failure would be final and public.

How did NASA succeed in building the confidence it needed to deploy a completely automated, self-healing, observatory?

In this session you will learn SRE lessons through the lens of NASA's experiences in developing and launching exploratory probes.

Robert Barron, IBM

Robert is an SRE Architect in the office of the IBM CIO where he enjoys helping others solve problems even more than he enjoys solving them himself. Robert has over 20 years of experience in IT and is still happiest when learning something new. He lives in Israel with his wonderful wife and two children. His hobbies include history, space exploration, and bird photography.

@conference {284653,
author = {Robert Barron},
title = {Over Nine Billion Dollars of {SRE} Lessons - the James Webb Space Telescope},
year = {2022},
address = {Amsterdam},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct,