Video showing the deployment of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter’s 7.5 m-long solar wing in ESA’s test centre. The panels were held from above to simulate the weightlessness of space.
In this view, the ‘back’ of the wing is facing the viewer, showing the cabling that will be connected to the main body, while the reflective Sun-facing sides of the panels are not seen. One of the back panels is also reflective, to deflect stray light coming from the body.
The wing will be folded against the body inside the Ariane 5 launch vehicle and will only open once it is in space.