NASA and SpaceX have successfully launched two new solar arrays, known as IROSA, to improve the power generation capacity of the International Space Station’s Microgravity Complex. These arrays provide an extended and efficient power supply for the operation of the space station.
NASA has launched the 28th a commercial resupply mission with SpaceX, sending 7,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, powered by a Falcon 9 rocket, carries several measuring devices and two retractable solar panels. The International Space Station Roll Out Solar Arrays (IROSA) supplies additional energy to the microgravity complex.
As of 2021, the International Space Station had 250 kW of IROSA capacity, and two new arrays can increase capacity by up to 60 kW.
With their compact design, affordability and autonomous capabilities, the arrays offer enhancements to a wide range of scientific and commercial missions ranging from Low Earth orbit to interplanetary travel.
ROSA is a Redwire Space technology originally developed by Deployable Space Systems (DSS) with support from NASA. Since 2009, NASA has funded parts of the DSS journey from ROSA’s conceptualization through its development, culminating in successful technology demonstrations, an operational mission, and other cutting-edge potential applications. Redwire acquired DSS in 2021 and continued to infuse ROSA into both NASA and commercial missions.
“You come up with a simple concept, but to get it into space, a controlled explosion drives your design,” said Ken Steele, director of business development at Redwire.
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