Astronomer Complaints About Operating The James Webb Space Telescope

r.j. kushner
3 min readSep 2, 2023


“I am 98% sure Ivan has pinkeye, but he claims he’s just been crying about Queen Elizabeth. In either case, I don’t feel comfortable using the telescope after him.”

“Ivan told me he found ‘The most wondrous black hole ever detected.’ When I looked into the telescope, it was a picture of his ass.”

“I don’t think Ivan is qualified to work on a project this important. Whenever I ask about his astronomy background he says ‘I’m a Libra.’”

“Ivan hogs the main computer and uses it for personal projects. He says he is writing ‘Mrs. Doubtfire 2.’ But mostly I see him searching for pornography.”

“Every time we discover a new galaxy Ivan yawns and claims he’s ‘Seen it before.’ I know he hasn’t, and he’s just being contrarian, but it really irritates me.”

“Yesterday Ivan came in dressed as Spiderman and said, ‘I’m James Webb and you’re all fired.’ Then he sprayed Silly String all over a picture of my wife I keep on my desk.”

“Last night at 2 a.m. Ivan called me from the observation room and said, ‘We need you to come in. It’s an emergency…’” I rushed to the station where I found Ivan crying in front of the telescope. I asked what the matter was. ‘It’s a miracle,’ he said. ‘We were searching the Triangulum Galaxy and found another one of your chins.’ I want him transferred.”

“Ivan has a habit of taking other peoples’ lunches and claiming it’s ‘for research.’”

“Ivan brought a small man named Hank into the office and insisted Hank was an extraterrestrial being he’d discovered. Then he hijacked the main computer so he could ‘show Hank the Mrs. Doubtfire 2 script,’ but I’m pretty sure I saw him searching for pornography on there.”

“Ivan put a ‘Kick me’ sign on my back and then blamed it on ‘E.T. Hank,’ who I later saw drinking a bottle of spicy mustard in the elevator.”

“Ivan and Hank (an extraterrestrial?) have been arguing loudly over their ‘Mrs. Doubtfire 2’ project and now they’ve stopped speaking to each other. Whole office is tense. Hank keeps coming into the observation room and asking if I like spicy mustard. Does Hank work here now?”

“Yesterday Ivan interrupted a senior meeting to tell us Hank’s finger was glowing and he needed to return to his home in outer space. I think Hank’s finger was ‘glowing’ because he’d slammed it in the copy machine.”

“Ivan has applied four times for a grant to ‘study Hank’s poo.’”

“Ivan ‘replied all’ and emailed everyone at NASA a draft of Mrs. Doubtfire 2. It was…not bad.”

“I know Ivan is full of it, but he told me to look at one of our latest nebula images for a ‘sign from Hank,’ and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see what looked an awful lot like a bottle of spicy mustard.”



r.j. kushner

Dubbed by the New York Times as “all out of free articles this month.”