NASA is testing solar panels that unfurl like Fruit Roll-Ups in space

Sarah Fecht for Popular Science:  A fresh batch of supplies and science experiments are slated to launch to the International Space Station on Thursday. One of the experiments tucked inside the trunk of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will be ROSA, a new type of solar array that will be tested in space for the first time.

ROSA stands for Roll-Out Solar Array. It’s a new way of deploying solar arrays in space. Satellites and spacecraft typically unfold their solar panels like an accordion. But ROSA’s solar panels stretch out on a boom and then unroll themselves in a way that’s been compared to a tape measure or a party favor. Because it's more compact, ROSA's creators at the Air Force Research Laboratory think it could make spacecraft smaller and therefore cheaper.

If all goes well, the Dragon capsule carrying ROSA as well as other experiments and supplies will reach the ISS on Sunday.  Full Article:

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