Shannon Zirbel

Can origami advance space exploration?

Shannon Zirbel is a doctoral student studying mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University. She is also a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. Inspired by her childhood dream to be the first woman on the Moon, she has been developing a solar panel array prototype that folds and unfolds using the principles of origami that will power missions further into space more efficiently.

Her research on applying compliant mechanism theory to space technology has been covered by Wired magazine, Engadget.com and National Public Radio.