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.
Thanks for posting the Solar Orbiter pictures and video Flyaway, I missed the launch as it was overnight UK time.
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.That should have been caught in testing, one would have thought.
So yes, a known condition that they anticipated, but simply happened faster than testing had suggested it would."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."