Unfortunately, space launches can and do go wrong. Suppose that after all the delays and budget overruns, the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope fails and the telescope becomes a cloud of very expensive shrapnel raining into the sea.

Are there any upcoming/planned facilities that would be able to do similar science to what JWST would be capable of within the next decade, or are all our eggs in one basket on this one?

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    $\begingroup$ All eggs in one basket. If JWST fails, it would set back astronomy enormously. You can't do from ground what this telescope would otherwise do. $\endgroup$ – AtmosphericPrisonEscape Oct 24 '19 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ JWST is not an intentionally cheap mission to the moon (a type of mission which hasn’t had much success this year, thus there’s been lots of worrying headlines about failed missions, which shouldn’t worry you). We’re sending it out to a quiet place, floating in space, using a nice expensive rocket. Rockets are very reliable nowadays, we can land them vertically for crying out loud. JWST will be fine. It has to... It has to. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Franz Oct 26 '19 at 3:48
  • $\begingroup$ If SpaceX does indeed fly the Starship with its 12m diameter building a replacement could be much quicker without the need for complex folding of the mirror and sun-shield . $\endgroup$ – Mike H Oct 26 '19 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Heck , they even built two machines in the movie Contact. Couldn't they build extra parts and give them to the military if all goes well? $\endgroup$ – Jack R. Woods Nov 6 '19 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ For all (like me) reading this question in 2021: The JSWT is scheduled for October 31st, 2021. $\endgroup$ – B--rian Mar 11 at 13:07

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