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Deployable solar panels are non retractable?


Asharad
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This is a legit change. I was kind of pissed off when I found this out, because a satellite I had been using that was supposed to retract its solar panels on reentry couldn't retract them and I had to give them up... The shielded solar panels (the ones that look like they're in boxes) and the larger solar panels are retractable, though.

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It's just a shame the shielded ones are so much more massive, even if you only want the retractability rather than reentry protection. Do real solar panels behave as such, or is it purely a gameplay balance change?

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... Do real solar panels behave as such, or is it purely a gameplay balance change?

This is pure speculation but my gut tells me yes. Non-retractable panels can be spring loaded, pull the proverbial pin and they'll unfold. Retractable panels need electric motors to reel them back in.

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It's just a shame the shielded ones are so much more massive, even if you only want the retractability rather than reentry protection. Do real solar panels behave as such, or is it purely a gameplay balance change?

I don't think there is any such thing as retractable solar panels in real life, whether shielded or not. I'd be interested to hear of any examples.

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This caused me to use the 2x3 retractable ones for the first time in awhile... and I notice they clip through the opened access door when deployed and rotate. I imagine that's one of those things that might never get fixed.

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I don't think there is any such thing as retractable solar panels in real life, whether shielded or not. I'd be interested to hear of any examples.

Well, the P6 solar arrays on the ISS were retracted when they were moved to the end of the truss. But spacewalking astronauts were required to assist the retraction.

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IIRC this is not a change, but a fix. Way back when I started playing in .15 or .17 or whenever I started, the panels operated identically, but were only different cosmetically, AND the descriptions were different, stating the shielded ones were retractable and the unshielded ones were not. I never used the shielded ones because the unshielded ones had less mass (I think) and they actually retracted, so there was no use in the other ones. But now they are working AS ORIGINALLY INTENDED, which makes complete sense. Now there is a place for each type. If you're not going to be in an atmosphere after deploying them (spaceplanes or aerobraking), then the unshielded are the way to go, but if you need them to retract........

And as to the IRL versions, what spacecraft have we built that had large wing style solar panels that needed to be retracted automatically? I can't think of any. KSP is showing us the future in this aspect. Eventually there will be an IRL craft that will require retractable panels.

Edited by gargamel
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And as to the IRL versions, what spacecraft have we built that had large wing style solar panels that needed to be retracted automatically? I can't think of any. KSP is showing us the future in this aspect. Eventually there will be an IRL craft that will require retractable panels.
Yep. Kerbals are about 100 years ahead of humans. Humans have only landed on the Moon a few times, where as Kerbals treat the Mun like their back yard.
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I don't think there is any such thing as retractable solar panels in real life, whether shielded or not. I'd be interested to hear of any examples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_%28spacecraft%29

Look under Specifications: Dimensions.

EDIT:

Got "retractable" and "extendable" confused. My brain does this to me, sometimes.

Though I don't see why retractable solar panels would be overly difficult to build, if the need for them arose (if it already hasn't).

Edited by Vaporo
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