The solar arrays Orion will use to produce electricity being tested at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands, April 2018. Folded for launch, the fragile solar panels need to survive the rumbling into space aboard the most powerful rocket ever built, NASA’s Space Launch Systems.
Orion’s solar panels will be folded inside the rocket fairing on the first leg of the trip around the Moon. Once released from the rocket they will unfold and rotate towards the Sun to start delivering power.
To make sure the solar panels will work after the intense vibrations experienced during launch, ESA engineers are putting them through rigorous tests that exceed what they will experience on launch day. This includes vibrating them on a shaking table and placing them in front of enormous speakers that recreate the harsh launch conditions.