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NASA’s patented StarShade spacecraft flowers in space

02 August 2016

YouTube channel PatentYogi reveals NASA plans to launch a StarShade spacecraft to image new Earths, once in space the craft opens into the shape of a flower.

Image courtesy of PatentYogi/YouTube

The spacecraft will be launched as a single unit and once in space it will split into two units – the StarShade and the Telescope. 

The StarShade opens up into the shape of a flower to block the light from bright stars and help the telescope find and image distant exoplanets. This method is very similar to someone holding their hand up to block the sun whilst taking a photo. 

NASA’s research concluded that the flower shape is the optimum shape for a star occulator. When seen from far away, the shape of the petals creates a soft edge that causes less bending of light waves. NASA underwent various test shapes using pin-hole cameras

NASA has now been granted a patent for this technology. 

Video courtesy of YouTube channel PatentYogi

PatentYogi is a patent services firm that helps inventors file patents for their inventions across the world. 


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