James Webb telescope has only 68GB of memory: this is how its storage system works

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During these days, many people want to know all the details regarding the James Webb Telescope, which sent the sharpest photographs of space to Earth.

Despite having a cost of 9,660 million dollars, twice as much as expected, in addition to a seven-year manufacturing delay, the particular Telescope launched in December 2021 has the particularity of having only 68GB of storage.

Photography users know that 68 GB of memory may not be the most expected storage for a device that cost the money it did. However, the reasons may surprise you.

[Rivaliza con el James Web: Así luce una imagen de campo profundo tomada con el Telescopio Espacial Hubble de la NASA]

James Webb Storage Operation

According to the information provided by the space agency, staying in constant contact with Earth is impossible, so the information collected by the JWST has to “live” somewhere until it can be downloaded, so it must have a storage unit. storage.

That that capacity is only 68GB feels pretty complicated when you consider the fact that the first image was a whopping 12.5 hour composite of exposures, but the truth is that the JWST regularly transmits data before it reaches storage capacity. . In fact, the drive can hold up to 24 hours of data, even when the JWST is producing its maximum amount of data (57 GB per day).

In addition to storing observation data, approximately 3% of onboard storage is reserved for engineering and telemetry data. However, it’s worth noting that NASA engineers expect onboard capacity to drop to around 60GB after a decade in use due to extremely low temperatures and high levels of radiation in space.

Although these data seem to give it a lifespan of only 10 years, the team behind the telescope is optimistic that James Webb is actually performing well beyond expectations and, although they have not said that it will reaching the 30-year mark, the team appears confident that it can continue to operate. for at least 20 years.

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