Spacecraft wings of Power

These are spacecraft’s solar power panels, that look like wings, from behind, published by the European Space Agency.

Images © European Space Agency

ATV-5 solar panels

While ATV-4 is getting ready for launch on 5 June in Kourou, French Guiana, elsewhere in the world people are finishing ATV-5’s components. Here an engineer at Dutch Space is performing final checks on the hinges that deploy ATV’s solar panels – or ‘wings’ as they are lovingly called at Dutch Space. This picture shows a rare view of a spacecraft’s solar panels from behind, the side that does not point at the Sun and not covered in solar cells.

This is one of ATV-5’s solar panels as it will fly in space. It is not necessary to protect the cables other than fixing them in a wavy line to withstand physical stress during launch and deployment.

As the solar panels are not meant to be opened up under Earthly gravity a special rig hung from the ceiling is needed to spread them out. Weights at the bottom keep everything in place.

ATV-5 solar panels

via io9

source European Space Agency