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Space Origami: NASA’s Foldable Solar Array
When sending things into space, cargo is limited and costs are high. That’s why Brigham Young University researchers and NASA are using origami to develop ways of making solar arrays more compact. The current design allows the array to expand from 9 ft. to a whopping 80 ft. in diameter once it’s deployed in outer space. The array is expected to generate 150 kW of power, a significant increase over the 84 kW currently produced by the International Space Station. The absence of sliding parts in the solar array also decreases the likelihood of malfunction since scientists would only need to launch, deploy and monitor a single system.