NASA’s $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was struck by a tiny meteoroid impacting one of the 18 hexagonal gold-coated mirrors on the spacecraft.
Between May 23 and 25, JWST sustained a dust-sized micrometeoroid impact to the mirror segment known as C3, one of the 18 beryllium-gold tiles that make up the telescope’s 6.5-meter wide primary reflector, according to NASA. The shield acts as a reflector and allows the most sensitive infrared sensor ever launched in space to capture footage of stars and galaxies. JWST was launched into space in late December.
Fortunately, engineers planned for JWST to encounter space debris though the latest hit is concerning.
The good news is the telescope is still operational:
There’s no interruption in JWST’s planned first release of full-color images of deep space on July 12.