Martian landers like Phoenix and Insight uses circularly unfurling solar panels. The regular satellites make use of linearly unfurling panels.

What are the primary reasons why linear unfurling panels are not used in Martian lander cases? What are the tradeoffs?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ First thing that comes to mind: Gravity. The circular ones are compact arrangements around a central pole while the linear ones "hang off" to one side and need much heavier supports on a planet. $\endgroup$
    – asdfex
    Nov 24 '18 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ i.stack.imgur.com/eqKhM.jpg from here: bbc.com/news/science-environment-46332684 $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 25 '18 at 6:42

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