'Starshade' and 'Transformers' Origami-Inspired Spacecraft
Origami has inspired a number of unique spacecraft designs at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It addresses a persistent problem faced by JPL engineers - how do you pack the greatest amount of spacecraft into the smallest volume possible? The 'Starshade' is an immense, folding iris that has been proposed as a way to block light from distant stars. It would unfurl to a diameter of about 85 feet in space, about the size of a standard baseball diamond.