solar equipment -SpaceX Testing – Solar Array Deployment

January 12, 2012 – 6:24 am

Deployable solar arrays ** Dragon have been developed from scratch by a small group of engineers SpaceX. This video shows a complete distribution of the solar battery of tests using test equipment developed by SpaceX as part of a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) milestone. Visit: for more information about SpaceX, Dragon and Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, reusable rockets, grasshopper, Mars, rocket launch imminent, and Elon Musk. For more information on SpaceX:

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  1. 24 Responses to “solar equipment -SpaceX Testing – Solar Array Deployment”

  2. @MrAncientalien Since its on earth, yes. Obviously it will be a lot easier on the whole setup in space.

    By ADEdge on Jan 12, 2012

  3. @beakz they burn up lul

    By sexydorkmo on Jan 12, 2012

  4. Is that under the effects of gravity ?

    By MrAncientalien on Jan 12, 2012

  5. Sign me up. :) 

    By MrAncientalien on Jan 12, 2012

  6. Elon Musk also founded “Solar City”.
    Does that company have any contribution to Dragon’s solar panels??

    By KKM121 on Jan 12, 2012

  7. The fairings for the solar panels are indeed jettisoned. They are part of the trunk not the capsule itself. The trunk is jettisoned along with the solar panels just before capsule reentry.

    By beatlefriend on Jan 12, 2012

  8. From what I’ve seen, the fairings that protect the solar arrays are jettisoned. What happens to the panels for re-entry?

    By beakz on Jan 12, 2012

  9. Very cool! I’ll take a pair!

    By XcorpsSWEETRIDES on Jan 12, 2012

  10. @Bercik87 and you still have gravity in space – it won’t be deployed in 0g (my estimation is it will be closer to ~0.9g). Weightless conditions will be generated by centrifugal force (or they will deployed in the horizontal direction which will demand the exact same force like in weightless conditions)

    By darkestkhan on Jan 12, 2012

  11. @Bercik87 actually it isn’t so – even though they will be deployed in weightless conditions it will demand the same force to deploy (it isn’t like you can move entire ISS with one hand just because it is in weightless condition) [F=ma, Newton's second law of motion (and there is third - there will be exact same force counteracting the deployment)]

    Weight /= Mass; Weight = mg (where g is gravity force)

    By darkestkhan on Jan 12, 2012

  12. when u say from scratch does that mean like the solar cells aswell? interesting bc of the solar city association.

    By sexydorkmo on Jan 12, 2012

  13. That is totally bodacious SpaceX. Keep up the good work! :)

    By LucasKussowski on Jan 12, 2012

  14. Over-engineering? If it’s economical to do so – then do it! Flight is all about trade-offs; if the motors are stronger than they need to be during a “clean room” test, then they should be better able to handle the rigors of real-life work. Who cares if they weigh a little more – better to be safe than sorry…

    By erics2112 on Jan 12, 2012

  15. @k0zka, noises are from out of view shop equipment. SpaceX makes just about everything themselves.

    By cburrowz on Jan 12, 2012

  16. @Bercik87 This test is supposed to simulate the weightlessness when in orbit. The deployment is in the horizontal direction where you only have to push the mass of the panels (which is independent of gravity). The motors will only have to as strong as you want the deployment to be. The weight of the panels in the vertical direction (which is the direction of gravity) is supported by the structure above the arrays.

    By pechisbeque on Jan 12, 2012

  17. Super Fantastic!

    By Leebm29 on Jan 12, 2012

  18. @oisiaa It’s on both side at the same time, so they should mostly cancel out. Whatever is left yes, Drangon will compensate

    By ianmga on Jan 12, 2012

  19. @Bercik87
    Isn’t that overengineering? ;-P

    By rampike74 on Jan 12, 2012

  20. Question: it seems to me, that they are not having much trouble deploying – so that means motors are quite strong – wouldn’t be better/cheaper to use less powerful motors since there is (almost) no force needed to do deployment in 0g? Thx for answer
    Keep up the good work.

    By Bercik87 on Jan 12, 2012

  21. How does one go about computing the various torques this will apply to the dragon as the arrays are deployed? Does Draco just automatically compensate for whatever momentum transfer there is as the arrays are deployed?

    By oisiaa on Jan 12, 2012

  22. I need some of those for the top of my home!

    By GalenChock59 on Jan 12, 2012

  23. @k0zka probably the deployment motor?

    By Ash243x on Jan 12, 2012

  24. and what is the noise?

    By k0zka on Jan 12, 2012

  25. Cool… is this real-time?

    By JMajorLITD on Jan 12, 2012

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