back to article International Space Station scores powerup with solar panels that 'roll out like a tape measure'

NASA and Boeing have announced that humanity's celestial outpost will soon install six new solar panels, each capable of producing 20kW. The panels use Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) tech tested at the ISS in 2017. ROSA panels "roll open in space like a tape measure", a technique that allows for more compact designs than is …

  1. MyffyW Silver badge

    If the Institut Supérieur de la Science et du Vin requires a volunteer to taste the returned bottles I'm available at short notice and easily swayed by home delivery of plonk, cheese and charcuterie.

    - SquiffyW

    1. Korev Silver badge

      What are you whining about?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Yeah, stick a cork in it.

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: What are you wining about?

        OP is clearly cheesed-off that NASA doesn't think he/she has the bottle.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      So, it's been to near earth orbit?

      Can't say it travels all that well.

    3. UCAP Silver badge

      Get to the back of queue please - its about 3 miles down the road

    4. bazza Silver badge

      Hang on, don't get your hopes up. There's been bottles of the finest French vintages up in orbit, looked after by a bunch of astronauts who are a very long way away from the nearest pub / wine bar / etc? The chances of there being any actual wine left in those bottles is remote.

      There might be something else in there, some other fluid surplus to requirements, bit of food colouring, etc. And they can get away with it. After all, if someone opens them up and takes a sniff and exclaims "Mon dieu, this vin completement stinks comme un pissoir!", they can simply say "Well that just shows that wine doesn't keep in space". And that's even true, in the same way that it's true that wine does last very long in my bottle rack.

      Boffins on to a Good Thing?

      There's some people whose job quite soon is going to tasting and drinking wine that's been into space and back, and they're getting paid to do it.

      Where's it all gone wrong for me?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "The chances of there being any actual wine left in those bottles is remote."

        The have russians up therew and decades of experience with Mir.

        Someone's bound to have worked out a way to make vodka in zero-G

  2. Tom Chiverton 1

    I'll have to update the Lego modal now... which means taking it off the ceiling...

    1. Spherical Cow

      They really should have a Lego ISS in the actual ISS. I'm surprised Lego hasn't already paid SpaceX to take one up, postage would only be a couple of grand.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Building the kit in zero-G might be a challenge, with all those small parts floating off.

  3. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Dozen spacewalks

    I know the engineers know their onions, so it's my ignorance that made me think that a dozen spacewalks seemed like a lot. Until I remembered a documentary about spacewalks and how the astronaut is describing every movement they make to mission control, and periodically checking their gloves for signs of wear - i.e, they likely can't do as much work per spacewalk as Hollywood has us think.

    That said, I'd love to see solar panels and modules maneuver and assemble themselves... that would just appear to be a solvable engineering chalkange that would lessen the need for spacewalks.

    1. gecho

      Re: Dozen spacewalks

      The station has a 2 handed attachment for the robot arm that seems to hardly ever get used.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Dozen spacewalks

      That said, I'd love to see solar panels and modules manoeuvrer and assemble themselves

      Adding motors, grippers, control circuits and batteries might just adversely affect the weight of the module.

      Having said that, some form of crawler robot that can carry the parts and tools to the required spot for manual fixing by an astronaut might be worthwhile to reduce the number of spacewalks required.

  4. Tom 7 Silver badge

    There you are resting in you cucoon

    on the station and then weowwoosh bong and the lights go out as the solar panels retract at speed.

    Like all good tape measures.

    1. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

      Re: There you are resting in you cucoon

      Damm you beat me to that one...


      Wonder if there's a "stop" button as on more expensive tape measures...

    2. adam 40 Silver badge

      Re: There you are resting in you cucoon

      Ahh but - in space, no-one can hear you "whooosh"!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    They owe them wine

    Institut Supérieur de la Science et du Vin should ship a bottle to the boffins who developed ROSA. Beyond the ISS, it will see eventual use in satellites and space probes. Salut!

  6. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

    ISS Wine - That's one up on Aquavit Linie

    Aquavit Linie - shipped across the equator (twice) as part of the ageing process. I was shown the bottle when I was introduced to it - the label had the ship's name and voyage dates printed on the back. Many Norwegian ships are (were) built with secure hold space for the lucrative cargo.

    Shooting wine into space and back seems a bit nouveau chic, but there might be a business opportunity with zeroG spirit. Now if Mr Musk would like to tip me a few bottles for suggesting a use for spare space inside the Dragons...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like