Temperature System

How is DS1's heat balance maintained?

What could go wrong on DS1 if there is too much heat?

Heat tends to make things expand. When a part is heated by the Sun or some other heat source, the part expands slightly. The opposite happens when a part is cooled; it contracts slightly. The problem to spacecraft occurs when one part of the spacecraft is pointed at the Sun and the other part is pointed at empty space. The Sun heats up only part of the spacecraft and expands certain parts of the spacecraft. However the cold parts of the spacecraft do not expand. This uneven heating stresses the spacecraft and can cause the spacecraft to be warp or even break. Even if the spacecraft is not damaged by the uneven heating, the uneven heating can distort instruments like telescopes and make them useless.

Another problem with heat comes not from the heating of the Sun but from the heating caused by the electronic components. The electronic components in spacecraft generate heat just like your computer does at home. The is why your computer at home has a fan in it. The fan is to remove the excess heat. If you find a newer computer without the cover on it, you will see that one of the chips in the computer has a large number of metal fins on the top or on the side of it. The chip is the processor and it generates a lot of heat which need to be removed. The metal fins help the chip remove heat.


Why do we have to control heat on a spacecraft if there are no people on board?
What is heat?
How does heat move?
What could go wrong on DS1 if it gets too cold?

Why does heat make the electrical system less efficient?
Will DS1 get heated directly by the Sun?
What is stress?
What is heat balance?

Why does electrical current make heat?