The Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has almost reached its final destination, more than 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Because of this distance, it will be impossible to carry out service and repair tasks. How will the risk of collision with space debris be managed?. Let’s find out.
Last month The James Webb Space Telescope has finally been launched, heading to her new home in deep space: Lagrange Point Sun-Earth L2. This distant point, located far from the lunar orbit, will give a significant advantage in future cosmological observations of JWST, because it will be far away from many annoying and interfering elements.
However, many have asked themselves a legitimate question: “Could the Webb Telescope collide with space debris?What could the space agencies participating in the mission do if such a situation occurred? The answer was NASA who tried to unearth doubts, but also emphasized that the question is not as trivial as one might think.
The team responsible for operating the JWST explained that it is very likely that the telescope will collide with debris sooner or later. “Some small impacts will occur from micro-meteoritessaid Michael Thaler, NASA Space Flight Center scientist, Michelle Thaler.There may be damage to the telescope mirrors during the mission“.
The tool will be completely vulnerable to potential collision damage, but it is also true that the engineering team has thought of different protection systems to limit any problems. Not surprisingly, the sun visor and heat shield are made up of multiple layers and layers to not only be more effective at dissipating heat, but also to provide some kind of extra protection in the event that small meteors rip or puncture the JWST.
In short, NASA understands the risks, but it’s all part of the game. Fortunately, there is also some good news: point L2, unlike the low orbit in which the Hubble telescope orbits, It is especially free of debris and meteorite fragments, so – despite the great distance – the Webb telescope can spend its whole life undisturbed, without unpleasant encounters.
We hope everything goes smoothly and none of these concerns come true. If you’re still intrigued by the topic, find out why The high cost of JWST was not a waste.
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