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NASA gives out $50m solar deal

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Who doesn’t like a good space story? Greenbang does, that’s for sure. Blame it on the childhood spent watching too much Doctor Who (is that an oxymoron, by the way)? So to oblige Greenbang’s passions for green tech and space, here’s a snippet all about NASA and solar.

Alliant Techsystems has been selected by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a division of Lockheed Martin Corporation to design, develop and build UltraFlex solar arrays for NASA’s next generation Orion crew exploration vehicle. The value of the initial design and development contract is expected to exceed $50 million. Program management, design, engineering, analysis, manufacturing, assembly and test work for the solar arrays will be conducted at ATK’s facility in Goleta, CA. Because the flight solar array system is expendable for each Orion mission, ATK expects continuous production through 2020 and beyond.

Powered by ATK’s solar arrays, Orion is being designed to carry astronauts to the moon. It also will transport crew and cargo to the International Space Station.

ATK’s UltraFlex disk shaped solar arrays, each measuring greater than 5 meters in diameter, will track the sun and provide power for Orion during its mission. ATK’s UltraFlex arrays offer superior performance characteristics and mission enabling features, including ultra-lightweight, high strength, high stiffness, and compact stowage volume. The UltraFlex solar array configured for Orion will provide over twenty-five times the strength and ten times the stiffness of ATK’s conventional rigid panel solar arrays, at less than one-fourth the weight.

One fourth? Is that space speak for one quarter?

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