The Origami Telescope

Geek Culture

The scientists wanted to build a space telescope with a 100 meter diameter lens, but it had to be able to fit in a delivery space only 10m wide.  What to do?

The lens would have to somehow fit in this narrow compartment shaft to be launched into space. This is where Dr. Robert Lang entered the picture. The Diffractive Optics Group contacted Dr. Lang and requested a visit. After examining the problem, Lang explored various origami designs that could be applied to the lens. It became evident that through a limited number of collapsible facets, the size of the lens could be reduced with origami folds while maintaining the integrity of the surface once expanded in space.

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