Solar Energy Crucial To Dragon Success | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date






Airborne On ANN

Airborne 11.23.15

Airborne 11.24.15

Airborne 11.25.15

Airborne 11.19.15

Airborne 11.20.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 11.23.15

Airborne 11.24.15

Airborne 11.25.15

Airborne 11.19.15

Airborne 11.20.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

Wed, Jan 11, 2012

Solar Energy Crucial To Dragon Success

Deployable Solar Arrays Provide Spacecraft's Primary Power

For its first mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will use deployable solar arrays as its primary power source for running sensors, driving heating and cooling systems, and communicating with SpaceX’s Mission Control Center and the Space Station. Dragon’s solar arrays generate up to 5,000 watts of power -- enough to power over 80 standard light bulbs. The solar arrays, shielded by protective covers during launch, deploy just minutes after Dragon separates from the Falcon 9 second stage, as it heads towards its rendezvous with the Space Station.

Technicians Install Deployable Solar Panels

While many commercial satellites and NASA missions such as the Hubble Space telescope use solar arrays, Dragon will be the first commercial American transport vehicle to do so.

Past American spacecraft like Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle used fuel cells or battery packs. Fuel cells are limited by the amount of chemical reactants (typically oxygen and hydrogen) that the vehicle can carry. Batteries alone are limiting due to their mass and the amount of power they can carry.

Solar energy provides a key benefit -- long-term power. Combining Dragon’s solar arrays with a compact and efficient battery pack provides a reliable and renewable source of power. When in the sun, Dragon’s solar arrays recharge the battery pack, and the charged batteries provide power while Dragon passes through the Earth’s shadow. With solar panels, Dragon will have the power it needs for longer trips, whether to the Space Station or future missions to Mars.

Artist's Concept Dragon Approaching ISS

Dragon’s deployable solar arrays were developed from scratch by a small team of SpaceX engineers. To ensure they will survive the harsh environment of space, our engineers put the solar arrays through hundreds of hours of rigorous testing including thermal, vacuum, vibration, structural and electrical testing.

SpaceX conducts most of these tests in-house. After testing was complete, the solar arrays headed to SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral launch site for final integration. The solar arrays and fairing covers that protect the folded arrays during launch have since been installed on the Dragon spacecraft in preparation for their first flight to the International Space Station. (Images provided by SpaceX)



More News

Blue Origin Makes History, But Is The System Practical

Only Time Will Tell If The Booster Is Truly Reusable On November 23, 2015 Blue Origin achieved a first in rocketry and spaceflight history when their New Shepard launch vehicle suc>[...]

Dassault Falcon Jet Completes New Little Rock Expansion

Facility Earmarked For Work On Falcon 8X And Falcon 5X Airplanes Dassault Falcon Jet has completed another major expansion of its Little Rock Completion Center that will add 350,00>[...]

ICAO World Aviation Forum Charts Course To Sustainable Aviation Benefits

First-Ever Forum Of Its Type Draws Over 800 International Officials Over 800 Ministers and senior officials from States, UN and international organizations have gathered at the Hea>[...]

Russian Warplane Shot Down By Turkey On Syrian Border

Kremlin Say There Was No Violation Of Turkish Airspace Tensions between Russia and Turkey, and by extension NATO, escalated Tuesday when a Russian Su-24 was shot down by Turkey aft>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2015-23-06 PRODUCT: Certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-300, and A340-300 series airplanes.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC