Printed flexible solar cells by CSIRO launched on Space Machine Company’s Optimus-1 satellite, as part of Space X’s Transporter-10 mission

Eight mini-modules of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's (CSIRO) printed flexible solar cells were attached to the surface of Australia-based space transportation provider Space Machine Company’s Optimus-1 satellite, that was sent into orbit from the United States as part of Elon Musk’s Space X’s Transporter-10 mission.

A statement from the national science agency following the launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California explained that it is exploring such solar cells as a reliable energy source for future missions. Eight mini-modules of the printed flexible solar cells were attached to the surface of Optimus-1.


A major challenge in the development of spacecraft is low-mass, high-efficiency power systems, explained CSIRO Space Program Director Dr. Kimberley Clayfield. “If the space flight test reveals similar performance as we’ve shown in the lab, this technology offers significant advantages over traditional silicon-based solar,” explained Clayfield. “Yet another example of CSIRO’s terrestrial expertise being applied to solve challenges in the space domain.”

CSIRO Renewable Energy Systems Group Leader Dr. Anthony Chesman said researchers at the agency have spent many years improving perovskite-based solar cell performance. “Our perovskite cells have been achieving incredible outcomes on earth and we’re excited that they’ll soon be showcasing their potential in space,” said Chesman.

“Based on our research we expect our printed flexible solar cells will stand up to the effects of cosmic electron and gamma radiation which can compromise the performance and integrity of traditional solar cells.  

“We are also confident these cells will outperform traditional cells in cases where sunlight hits them at non-optimal angles.

Rajat Kulshrestha, Space Machines Company CEO, said: “We’re thrilled to integrate this ground-breaking technology into Optimus. This is just the beginning, and I’m excited to see what the future holds as we continue to innovate.

“Through perseverance and teamwork, our engineers and scientists, alongside partners like CSIRO, have created something truly ground-breaking.”

Posted: Mar 05,2024 by Roni Peleg