NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has an SSD that's hilariously small

NASA's $10 billion observatory is already sending back stunning images of the cosmos, but you wouldn't expect the size of its SSD.

1 minute & 6 seconds read time

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has already sent back some stunning images of the cosmos with its highly-advanced scientific instruments.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has an SSD that's hilariously small 02

Webb's development cost more than $10 billion, and now that its reached its destination, calibrated its instruments, it's ready to begin scientific operations with the first set of images already been released. While Webb is extremely expensive, and its instruments are next-generation, you would expect its hard drive that stores its images to be extremely large - however, this isn't the case.

Webb's doesn't have a hard drive, it has a solid state drive (SSD), and it's much smaller than you would anticipate at just 68 gigabytes, according to IEEE Spectrum. For context, 68 gigabytes is just half of the standard iPhone storage capacity. How does Webb take such incredible photos and store them on such a small SSD? Firstly, the SSD is actually a "solid state recorder" and is a highly modified piece of hardware that has been given the capabilities of withstanding the harsh conditions of space (radiation).

The total capacity of Webb's SSD fills up to 100% over 24 hours. However, Webb has multiple opportunities to send the images back to Earth via the Deep Space Network, and an onboard protocol will delete the files from the SSD once it has confirmed the images have been received by servers on Earth.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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