NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of an impact crater in a thermal louvre on the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) satellite, probably caused by a paint flake. This component of the SMM satellite was returned to Earth by Space Shuttle Mission STS-41C, following in-orbit repairs. The component had, by then, spent 50 months in space, and scientists found six such holes per square foot in the louvre surface. Most of these were caused by flakes of paint, from previous craft in orbit, which collided with the satellite at hypervelocity speeds. Magnification x100,000 at 10"x8" size.
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