One of the primary mirror segments of NASA's The James Webb Space Telescope was damaged as a result of a collision with a larger than expected micrometeoroid. The incident occurred between May 23 and 25, NASA reported in its blog.
According to preliminary estimates, the recent strike has not led to changes in the schedule of the telescope. According to experts, such cases were foreseen during the testing of the mirror on the ground. The agency assured that the telescope is still “performing at a level that exceeds all mission requirements,” and the space observatory is fully ready to carry out scientific research.
Moreover, NASA specialists were prepared for such incidents. Since its launch in December 2021, the telescope has already been hit by at least four different micrometeoroids. However, the latest one was significantly larger than NASA engineers predicted during ground tests.
The James Webb telescope is one of the U.S. space agency's most ambitious and long-awaited science projects that is the result of an international collaboration between 17 countries led by NASA with significant contributions from the European and Canadian space agencies.