The James Webb Space Telescope under threat? “There will be microasteroid impacts”

At least that’s what NASA says, and more specifically – Michelle Thaller, scientist at the Robert H. Goddard Space Center. She shared her comments during the last live broadcast. According to the specialist, impacts with various objects in space are inevitable.

“There will be some small impacts of micro-asteroids. Throughout the mission, the mirrors of the telescope may be more or less damaged,” comments Thaller, and Julie Van Campen, a NASA engineer, adds that the mirror and other sensitive elements may suffer defects as a result of contact with bodies in the solar system. It was also mentioned that the JWST does not have too many defense systems, but when designing the device, scientists anticipated different scenarios.

Van Cmapen noticed that if the sunshade was torn apart due to interference with small asteroids, at least four additional layers would be created to hold the cover together. Moreover, the mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope are designed to take some damage. The degree of resistance and service life is not mentionedbut – as Van Campen recalls – “it was part of our calculations”.

NASA representatives also point out that – unlike the Hubble Space Telescope – The JWST will orbit the Sun at L2, where there is almost no space debris, so that the chances of damage are much smaller. This is to be a response to the issue related to the inability of astronauts to repair the instrument directly, as is the case with the Hubble Space Telescope (NASA modernized and corrected five times between 1993 and 2009).

James Webb Space Telescope

Photo: NASA

James Webb Space Telescope

The agency has ambitious plans and wants to JWST has been in operation for at least 10 years, but so far astronomers on Earth are happy that the instrument is working and it has been successfully sent into space. After the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, about the program developed by the largest space agencies in the world is said to be positive again (previously, due to delays and significant budget overruns, the JWST issue was problematic).

On our pages, we regularly inform about the progress of the device in terms of achieving full efficiency – we recently mentioned, among others, with the 6.5-meter mirror and sunshield fully unfolded. We also know that work on the successor of the JWST has already started.

At the same time, we invite you to listen to the latest episode of the podcast Technically Thing Taking. This time we talked about an unusual invention of Polish engineers – a mechanical clone, faithfully reproducing the human body. Is it ethical and for what purpose do they do it?

About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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