The future of space flight may be founded on the traditions of art. Using the techniques of origami, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is examining how to use the craft of paper-folding to compact solar panels for space travel.
Japanese origami art traditions have already been referenced in diverse technology, from airbags in cars to transforming robots to human tissue engineering, and for space exploration having something take up as little space as possible, while being easily unpacked, is essential. “You think of it as ancient art, but people are still inventing new things, enabled by mathematical tools,” NASA mechanical engineer Brian Trease, who has a longtime interest in origami, explained in a release. Trease worked with Brigham Young University doctoral student Shannon Zirbel, and collaborated with origami expert Robert Lang, who has long been active in promoting it in science, and BYU professor Larry Howel, to combine different traditional folds for an 82-foot solar array that whirls down to 8.9 feet.
The video below demonstrates the solar array blossoming from a small spiral to a flat panel — a “no astronaut assembly required” design. Potentially the origami-influenced device could be incorporated into satellites or even spacecrafts. For now, it’s an experiment in adapting a centuries-old art to cutting edge design.
Read more about the origami solar panel project at NASA.
Artist Minouk Lim wants to offer a very different perspective on how one might deal with a grim history whose effects continue to be felt in the present.
This week: Should Washington have a national memorial for gun violence? Have cats used us to take over the world? What is Cluttercore? And more.
Organizers, artists, and land practitioners are holding public events at Iglesias Garden in a hub space supported by the Climate Justice Initiative, a project of Mural Arts Philadelphia.
The artist’s style blends aesthetic and cultural elements from Ghana, London, and New York’s graffiti scenes.
Workers told Hyperallergic that they were tired of meager pay and a lack of job security.
Jo Sandman / TRACES opens with a reception for the artist on June 3 at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
Authorities say Jean-Luc Martinez helped facilitate the Louvre’s purchase of objects illegally pillaged during the Arab Spring.
The suspects attempted to take a Basquiat artwork valued at $45,000 from Taglialatella Galleries but instead made off with a half-empty bottle of whiskey.
Funding MFAs and all full-time graduate degrees, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports immigrants and the children of immigrants in the US.
From music and architecture to comedy and horror, these films showcase Ukrainian culture and its long-held ethos of resistance.
The artists showcased in Archival Intimacies examine the colonial trauma’s impact on Asian Americans and search for ways to overcome it.
Eiffel inadvertently paints its protagonist not as a great man worthy of scrutiny or praise, but as the Elon Musk of his day.