BREAKING: The James Webb Space Telescope Was Just Struck by a Meteoroid

Micrometeoroid hits are an unavoidable aspect of spacecraft operation, with spacecraft frequently sustaining many collisions throughout the course of lengthy and fruitful scientific missions. 

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope experienced a collision with one of its main mirror components between May 23 and May 25. Despite a barely discernible influence on the data, the scientists discovered that the telescope's performance still fulfills all mission criteria after the first evaluations. 

Ongoing analysis and measurements are exhaustive. Impacts will continue to occur for the duration of Webb's mission in space; such occurrences were expected while the mirror was being constructed and tested on Earth. 

After a successful launch, deployment, and telescope alignment, Webb's initial performance remains far beyond expectations, and the observatory is fully capable of doing the research for which it was built.

The Webb telescope's mirror was designed to resist the dust-sized micrometeoroid environment in its orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 at high speeds. During the construction of the telescope, engineers utilized models and real test impacts on mirror samples to get a better understanding of how to reinforce the observatory for operation in space. 

This most recent effect was more than what was predicted and what the researchers could have tested on the ground.

Reference(s): NASA

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