NASA’s James Webb Space
Telescope sustained an impact to one of its primary mirror segments between May 23 and 25.
Tiny meteoroids pose a
significant threat to spacecraft because their average speed relative to orbit is a staggering 22,500 mph
Micrometeoroid strikes are
an unavoidable for any spacecraft, which routinely sustain many impacts over the course missions in space
The team found the telescope
is still performing at a level that exceeds all mission requirements despite a marginally detectable effect in the data.
Impacts will continue to
occur throughout the entirety of Webb’s lifetime, such events were anticipated when building the mirror on the ground.
After a successful launch,
deployment, and telescope alignment, Webb’s beginning-of-life performance is still well above expectations