MAR 25, 2018 08:03 PM PDT

How NASA Integrates Origami Into Spacecraft


Origami is an ancient Japanese art involving paper-folding, but we can attribute it to so much more than just paper. NASA knows this first-hand and taps into origami techniques to shrink massive spacecraft down to the ideal size for rocket-based transportation.

The Starshade is just one example of an origami-based project that's being undertaken at NASA this very moment. The Starshade is a massive folding shade that sets up in front of a space telescope as it searches for exoplanets. It blocks light from the host star, enabling the telescope's optics to snag clearer exoplanet images and discern finer details in the process.

Unfolded, the Starshade would compare in size to a baseball diamond. But folded, the Starshade could comfortably fit inside the cramped quarters of a rocket fairing, allowing NASA to send it to space for deployment.

Origami doesn't stop at the Sunshade; this is a concept that can apply to most things NASA does. It will allow the space agency to develop new ways of sending larger and more powerful equipment into space despite current cargo size constraints, and this is something that can seriously help push humankind's footprint in outer space forward.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 11, 2018
Videos
SEP 11, 2018
Are you sleeping right? The sleep stages explained
Are you having trouble sleeping? Well, you're not alone. The number of people affected by sleep problems such as sleep apnea or insomnia is startling h...
SEP 26, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 26, 2018
There's Nothing Weak About the Weak Force
The weak nuclear force, or weak force for short, is so named because it is the direct contrast to the strong nuclear force, the attractive force that binds...
OCT 02, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 02, 2018
Here's What'd Happen if We Detonated a Nuclear Bomb in Space
Have you ever wondered what would happen if humankind detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb in space? If so, then this is a video you’ll want to w...
OCT 09, 2018
Videos
OCT 09, 2018
Take-out doesn't have to be this way
I love take-out just as much as the next person, but there's something that gets to me every time I order in: the amount of single-use waste that comes...
OCT 10, 2018
Videos
OCT 10, 2018
It Matters How Young You Start Using Cannabis
If the brain's endocannabinoid system is constantly disrupted with cannabis while developing it can affect mood, motivation, learning and how memo...
OCT 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 17, 2018
Should We Build a Space Elevator?
Rockets are the primary means of sending cargo to and from space, but chemical burns are incredibly expensive, and this has some firms looking into alterna...
Loading Comments...