September 01, 2016

"With its sights firmly fixed on Earth, Europe's eye in the sky never saw it coming."

ABC: A tiny piece of debris has punched a gaping hole in the solar panel of one of its Earth observation satellites, causing visible damage but not enough to affect its routine operations, the European Space Agency said Wednesday. via AP

'The unknown particle just a few millimeters big slammed into the back of a solar panel on Copernicus Sentinel-1A on Aug. 23. Using on-board cameras, engineers have determined that the hole is about 40 centimeters (16 inches) in diameter.

'The European Space Agency said the loss of power caused by the strike is "relatively small" — less than 5 percent of the wing's usual output.'

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