NASA's next-generation space observatory has sustained its first noticeable micrometeoroid impact less than six months after launch.
James Webb Space Telescope hit by micrometeoroid
JWST, launched on Dec. 25, 2021. It has spent the intervening months trekking out to its deep-space post and preparing for science observations
NASA announced that the observatory has experienced its first few impacts from tiny pieces of space debris called micrometeoroids.
“Between May 23 and 25, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope sustained an impact to one of its primary mirror segments.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said that "Since launch, we have had four smaller measurable micrometeoroid strikes."
Micrometeoroid strikes are an unavoidable aspect of operating any spacecraft, which routinely sustain many impacts over the course of long and productive science missions in space.
Despite the impact coming so early in the observatory's tenure, NASA officials are confident that the $10 billion telescope will still perform adequately.
As the JWST team continues to evaluate the impact, NASA is focused on better understanding experience through mission.
NASA expects to unveil the first science-quality images from the telescope on July 12, and also start science operations.
Unveil first image