Headline: “NASA’s New Shape-Shifting Radiator Inspired by Origami”

“Japan’s ancient art of paper folding has inspired the design of a potentially trailblazing “smart” radiator that a NASA technologist is now developing to remove or retain heat on small satellites.

Vivek Dwivedi, a technologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has teamed with a couple of researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah to advance an unconventional radiator that would fold and unfold, much like the V-groove paper structures created with origami, the art of transforming a flat piece of paper into a finished sculpture.” https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-s-new-shape-shifting-radiator-inspired-by-origami

This RLE is a clear “what if” situation. NASA has been using origami principles in design as a way to create compact structures that don’t take up much space when they are moved in space. Once in space, they are unfolded and put into use.

At some point in the past a researcher thought “What if the principle of origami were applied to the design of a satellite?’ That “what if” question has led to significant breakthoughs.