Spreading EarthCARE’s solar wing


ESA’s EarthCARE satellite mission will soon be launched to answer some critical scientific questions related to the role that clouds and aerosols play in reflecting incident solar radiation back out to space and trapping infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface. As engineers are preparing EarthCARE for its life in orbit, the satellite is being put through its paces at ESA testing facilities in the Netherlands – the largest satellite test facility in Europe, equipped to simulate every aspect of the space environment.

One of the first tests involved the deployment of the satellite’s 11 metre solar wing from its folded stowed configuration, which allows it to fit in the rocket fairing, to its fully deployed configuration as it will be in orbit around Earth.

This timelapse video shows this deployment test from various angles.

Read full story: EarthCARE takes a big stretch https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/FutureEO/EarthCARE/EarthCARE_takes_a_big_stretch

Credit: ESA–M. Cowan

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