The Morning After: The 68 GB SSD floating inside the James Webb Space Telescope

The Morning After: The 68 GB SSD floating inside the James Webb Space Telescope

With the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) now turned on and snapping some – some of them huge catches – where does it place them all? On an SSD, of course. It’s a relatively small 68GB SSD, according to IEEE Spectrumwhich is just enough to handle a day’s JWST images before being sent back to earth.

Why so humble in size? JWST is one million miles from Earth, and is bombarded by radiation and temperatures of less than 50 degrees above absolute zero (-370 degrees F). So the SSD, like all other parts, must be radiation hardened. Samsung’s latest pro-level SSD can not cut it. In addition, JWST sends data back to Earth much faster than Hubble – up to 57 GB in the four hours it is within reach each day. It seems like just enough storage space.

-Mat Smith

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