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cobalt1227 t1_ivvymql wrote

What about compressed air? When cleaning my shop on a windy day, it’s always easier to blow the dust out with a compressor then try sweeping.


is_explode t1_ivwsozp wrote

Not mentioned, but using compressed air means either bringing said compressed air, or bring a compressor. Both require control mechanisms, and additional mass and volume that can't be used for science.


Sealingni t1_iw2xjvv wrote

With Starship, weight will be less of an issue for future probes so maybe we can afford technology (and extra weight) to clean the solar panels in the near (within 10 years) future?


is_explode t1_iw349s7 wrote

Well it seems like the Mars landers/rovers are managing to exceed design life enough that something to clean panels would probably be coming down the line eventually, and extra mass allowable certainly would make that easier.


rocketsocks t1_ivvzvd6 wrote

Sure, but then how are you going to make it work? You have to hit the whole panel, which probably means some kind of armature. That's not exactly trivial in terms of complexity, weight, etc. when you're talking about adding something to a spacecraft. And then anything like that you need to do testing on, already you're spending millions on something that may not work very well.