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  Electronic Power

All of the spacecraft's power is generated, stored and distributed by the electrical power subsystem. The system obtains its power from an array of standard silicon solar cells arranged on two panels on either side of the equipment deck. The two solar panel wings, made of silicon and aluminum, are fixed in place. They hold grids of silicon cells which generate 265 watts at Earth's distance from the Sun. A power distribution and drive unit contains switches that send power to various loads around the spacecraft. Power is also stored in a 16-amp-hour nickel hydrogen battery.

The electrical system also contains a pyro initiator unit which fires small explosive devices that configure the spacecraft following launch, performing such tasks as extending Genesis' solar array and opening covers on science instruments. The pyrotechnic system also releases the sample return capsule by actuating cable cutters to allow the heat shield and back shell to separate from the spacecraft's body.

The electrical power subsystem weighs 36.5 kilograms (80.5 pounds). button
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Curator: Aimee Meyer
Updated: November 2009

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