Euclid gets solar power and protection

(ORDO NEWS) — Spacecraft aren’t all that different from humans – though the sun can be a great source of life energy, and both humans and machines need to be protected from its harmful effects.

In this image taken May 23, 2022, engineers at Thales Alenia Space in Turin attach a combined solar shield and solar array module to the main body of ESA’s Euclid spacecraft.

The module serves two purposes: While the solar panels will power the spacecraft, the sunshield will shield the instrument-carrying payload module from intense solar radiation.

Euclid is a space telescope designed to study the dark universe. It will map the cosmos in three dimensions (with time as the third dimension) by observing billions of galaxies up to 10 billion light-years away, over a third of the sky.

In doing so, Euclid will tackle some of the most fundamental questions of cosmology – such as: the prerequisites for the origin of the universe. Why is the universe expanding at an accelerating rate? What is the nature of dark matter? What is dark energy?

The previous leg of Euclid’s journey, which took place on March 24, 2022, involved the attachment of the Euclid Payload Module to its Auxiliary Service Module.

Next, the engineers will add a communications antenna and then the Euclid will be complete. Finally, it will be flown to Cannes, where the spacecraft will be tested to ensure it is ready for launch from the European launch site in French Guiana.

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