James Webb Space Telescope Arrives in French Guiana

Launch on Ariane 5 flight VA256 is scheduled for December 18, 2021.

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This story is ignorant sensationalism. Yes, any micrometeroid strike causes “uncorrectable damage” because Web lacks a maintenance robot which could polish out the ding in the mirror and restore its gold plating, but all of the hits so far, together, still leave the telescope operating above its pre-launch best case estimate.

The biggest ding so far happened earlier than expected based upon estimates of debris at L2, but that may just be a statistical fluke. The mirror was expected to degrade over time, but there is o evidence the rate of hits so far will limit its usefulness over a mission which might be extended as long as 20 years.