Sending anything out to space can be an expensive affair, which is why it makes perfect sense to keep things as light as possible, not to mention small in size. Majority of the solar panels that power spacecraft have been specially designed in order to fold open the moment they arrive in space, which is why it is of utmost importance that the solar panels which are used on spacecraft would be designed in the most optimal method. To get an idea on how to maximize the efficiency in packing, a bunch of spacecraft engineers at Brigham Young University (BYU) have decided to glean the experience and advice from origami expert and physicist Robert Lang.
The BYU tea has been working alongside NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in order to work on a solar array which will be able to fold open to nearly ten times its packed size, and in the process, are able to generate up to 250 kilowatts of power. Whenever it is folded, the solar panel array will wrap itself around the core of the spacecraft, and it remains to be seen just what kind of application this particular solar panel array will be used for. Art imitates life, or life imitating art?
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