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The solar arrays were stowed during launch and then released. Mechanisms under the wings allowed them to unfold and move on a hinge until two latches per wing engaged and locked the wings in place.

The sample return capsule has a separation and release system, made of three two legged struts that hold the sample return capsule in place. The sample return capsule is mounted on its struts with its heat shield atop six spring-loaded cans. The springs push on a ring that presses against the heat shield and gently shoves the capsule away from the spacecraft when pyrotechnic bolts are cut.

The sample return capsule's lid opens and closes on a main hinge, and all the electronic signals that control the collector arrays and concentrator are passed through a wire harness from the spacecraft to the capsule that passes through the hinge. In order to keep the hinge from damaging the sample return capsule as it plunges through Earth's atmosphere, the hinge is retracted away from the capsule before reentry.

Elbow joints at the top of the hinge have separation bolts and cable cutters that separate and retract the hinge assembly. The ion and electron monitors each had a door mechanism that exposed the sensors inside by using pyrotechnics to expand small metallic balloons to open the door.

Four mechanical latch/hook assemblies worked to grab the lid of the sample return capsule and hold it in place throughout launch. The science canister mechanisms are: the lock ring device, sealing lid, canister lid mechanisms, and solar collector array deployment mechanism.

All of the canister mechanisms combined weigh 17.0 kilograms (37.5 pounds)

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Curator: Aimee Meyer
Updated: November 2009

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