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NASA successfully tests Orion solar array technology

NASA and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) have concluded initial testing and deployment of 5.5m (18ft)-diameter UltraFlex solar arrays for the US space agency's New Millennium Program Space Technology Eight Project. ATK's work will support Lockheed Martin's development of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle that will use radial arrays. ATK is also a subcontractor to Lockheed for Orion. The tests validate the UltraFlex array's acceleration capability, up to 2.7g, required for Orion's lunar missions. Smaller-scale arrays are powering NASA's Phoenix Lander that has been on Mars since 25 May.

ST8 Solar Array during deployment ATK
 © ATK

ST8 Solar Array Fully Deployed
 © ATK
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