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Solar Orbiter

dan_inbox

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Why is this in the unbuilt projects section rather than Aerospace or Bar?
 

Flyaway

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Seeker have re-uploaded their video:

 
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TomS

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Why is this in the unbuilt projects section rather than Aerospace or Bar?
Because it’s a space project. This section is called space projects is it not.
On this site, "Projects" usually refers to things that were never actually built (or at least only to prototype). But that is most strictly applied in the Aircraft forums. The other sections usually get a bit more slack, and I think we have several topics on operational spacecraft in this section already.
 

Grey Havoc

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That should have been caught in testing, one would have thought.
 

TomS

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That should have been caught in testing, one would have thought.
Perhaps in testing the temps on those pins never fell quite that far. The real world has a habit of presenting scenarios that testing does not reveal.

EDIT: On further research, the perils of relying on Twitter become clear. The full (or at least more full) quote, via SpaceRef:

"We saw that the pins that hold the doors of the remote observation instruments safely in place during launch were cooling down more rapidly than expected as we tilted them away from the Sun," says Andrea.

"If their temperature had fallen to below -40°C, they could have undergone 'cold welding', sticking them in place and preventing the doors of the remote sensing instruments from opening."

"The pins had already gotten too cold to move, and were in danger of sticking. To prevent this, we sent the command for Solar Orbiter to enter its 'safe mode', resetting its orientation and pointing the pins back towards the Sun."
So yes, a known condition that they anticipated, but simply happened faster than testing had suggested it would.
 

Flyaway

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