Has it ever been done, or is anyone working on, redeployable solar arrays? In other words, a solar cell array that can be deployed in space, used for a period, and then folded up again into the ship, to be reused later. Outside of the SpaceX paradigm of a reusable lift and land vehicle it's hard to think of why it might be done. Perhaps some vehicle had too much acceleration for it's delicate arrays, and so it folded them just during course corrections.

  • $\begingroup$ In space there's no reason for high thrust engines, why would it be too much for the arrays? $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Nov 8 at 5:27
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    $\begingroup$ space.stackexchange.com/questions/23946/… $\endgroup$ – BowlOfRed Nov 8 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel Sure there is - just not yet, because we're not sending humans any great distance. In the world of Sci-Fi, one would absolutely design collapsible solar arrays (and comms antennae, etc) for a ship intended for long-haul and multiple stops/deployments. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Nov 8 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft The cases where you might want to furl a solar array all involve landing somewhere, not being in space. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Nov 8 at 22:58

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