Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech

ROSA, a new solar array technology from NASA, is a lightweight mesh material that can be rolled up around a spindle and stowed in a more compact cylinder form.


(Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA) experiment is seen deployed)

This past weekend, engineers on the ground remotely rolled out the solar array using the space station's Canadarm2. The array will remain attached to the robotic arm for seven days. This experiment will test the overall effectiveness of the advanced solar wing. ROSA was delivered to the orbiting lab on June 5 aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship.

"We want to show that we can pull the wing back in in a predictable way," Jeremy Banik, the experiment's principal investigator and a senior research engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico, said in a statement. "A practical reason is that we have to pull it back for stowage after this investigation, but it will be good to know it can be done for future applications, potentially for a highly maneuverable spacecraft."

"We get more power by using larger solar arrays. But efficiently packaging them for launch and then deploying those big arrays by a spacecraft has been the challenge," Al Tadros, SSL vice president of Civil and Department of Defense Business, said in a June 8 statement. "What the work on ROSA has done is develop a technique to deploy very large surface areas of flexible solar arrays, doing that efficiently with low risk. It's more power without increasing the mass dramatically."

In his excellent short story Sail 25, Jack Vance describes the process of unfurling a delicate film in space, in this case, a solar sail:

Around the hull swung the gleaming hoop, and now the carrier brought up the sail, a great roll of darkly shining stuff. When unfolded and unrolled, and unfolded many times more, it became a tough, gleaming film, flimsy as gold leaf. Unfolded to its fullest extent it was a shimmering disk, already rippling and bulging to the light of the sun. The cadets fitted the film to the hoop, stretched it taut as a drumhead, cemented it in place...
(Read much more about the Light Sail)

Via Space.com.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2017)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...' - Ray Cummings, 1930.

Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...' - Pohl/Kornbluth, 1952.

NASA's Electric Motor Scooter
'...all the [lunar] prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course'

Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.' - F.E. Hardart, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

A Passing Drone Has Covid-19 Advice
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up.'

Prototype Robotic Masseur Has The Touch
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently...'

Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.

Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'

reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'

Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.

NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'

Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'

No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'

Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'

Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'

Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.