By Božo Cicvarić, mag. ing. traff. (EYE-HR)
“It is very expensive and very difficult to get things into space. Origami can help overcome this issue.”
ORIGAMI (jap. Oru = folding, kami = paper) is a craft or technique of making structures by folding paper – no cutting, no gluing. It became most famous during the 1930s thanks to the „father of origami“, the japanese artist Akira Yoshizawa. Although it is known as a Japanese tradition, Chinese and Spanish influence helped to make modern origami what it is today.
Expandable habitats require less volume and weight in rockets than rigid (non-foldable) modules, which increase the efficiency of sending shipments into space. This results in less rocket launches, which ultimately reduces overall costs.
The last blog article described the application of modern technical origami in solving the problem of packing solar panels into rockets. Now, this article describes another interesting example of origami application in space logistics, called BEAM – Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. It describes how origami technique can be used to provide additional crew or cargo space in space missions with lower financial demand.