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Absent specific details about the printing filament, it's impossible to say anything in particular about this application. Some general points of knowledge though: The primary sources of polymer degradation in orbit are UV radiation, atomic oxygen (AO) erosion, outgassing, and thermal degradation. These all present challenges regarding material selection, ...


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Your assumption that flex arrays were a non-problem for Hubble is incorrect. The original arrays "jittered" every time the 'scope entered or left eclipse, causing problems for the pointing system. It was so bad that the arrays were completely swapped out for redesigned ones on the first servicing mission, and then replaced by stiffer ones on a later ...


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Ion thrusters need a power source. And power sources can be massive. This was a major objection to Franklin Chang Diaz' claim that VASIMR could get to Mars in 39 days. He assumed an alpha of .5 kg/KWe. Which isn't doable with present day state of the art. So what would a power source look like that cranks out a kilowatt electricity per half kilogram? I ...


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The X-37 is believed to have a stow able solar panel, but given it's nature somewhat vague. Photos of it in orbit suggest it deploys a single panel out one side, and presumably recovers it prior to landing rather than jettisoning it.


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The engines aren't particularly heavyweight, but we're handling lots of power in a very tiny volume. Lots of power means cooling. Gas accelerated to these energies becomes an extremely corrosive plasma, best held at bay by magnetic fields because otherwise the engine will be burning through itself. So - heavy electromagnets to guide the propellant. The ...


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The Lunokhod 1 had a redeploy-able solar "array"-- that being said it was more of a close-able lid with panels placed on the bottom of it. It was both for maintaining the internal temperature of the rover during the lunar dark periods and could be unfolded as needed to recharge its batteries. The vehicle was powered by batteries which were recharged ...


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Yes, kind of. One of the ISS solar panels was actually rolled up so they could move it to a different part of the station. The P6 truss and solar array was relocated during STS-120. During some of the movement they actually folded the panels back up to the same configuration that they were as launched. This caused a few issues, however, and is generally not ...


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