NASA, SpaceX launch roll-out solar arrays for International Space Station


From pv magazine USA

NASA has launched its 28th commercial resupply mission with SpaceX, sending 7,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station.

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft propelled by a Falcon 9 rocket will bring several measurement instruments, as well as two roll-out solar arrays. The International Space Station Roll Out Solar Arrays (IROSA) will deliver additional energy capacity to the microgravity complex. 

As of 2021, the International Space Station had 250 kW of IROSA capacity, and the two new arrays may add up to 60 kW of capacity.

The arrays, with their compact design, affordability, and autonomous capabilities, offer enhancements for a wide range of scientific and commercial missions, spanning from low-Earth orbit to interplanetary travel.

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ROSA is a technology of Redwire Space, originally developed by Deployable Space Systems (DSS), with support from NASA. Since 2009, NASA has funded parts of DSS’s journey, from conceptualizing ROSA to its development, culminating in successful technology demonstrations, operational mission use, and other cutting-edge potential applications. DSS was acquired by Redwire in 2021, continuing ROSA’s infusion into both NASA and commercial missions.

“You come up with a simple concept, but to get that to space, riding along that controlled explosion is what drives your design,” said Ken Steele, vice president of business development for Redwire.

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