NASA Astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio successfully completed a 7-hour 8-minute spacewalk on Dec. 22 at 3:27 p.m. EST to install the fourth ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA) on the Port 4 Truss of the International Space Station (ISS). This spacewalk, the 83rd U.S. spacewalk, achieved all objectives by successfully installing and deploying the fourth array to the space station. The pair had previously completed preparation work for the installation in a spacewalk on Nov. 15 and installed the third iROSA on Dec. 3. The arrays were launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 26 onboard the SpaceX-26 cargo resupply mission to the ISS.
As of 2021, one pair of arrays already operates on station, with a total of six arrays planned for installation. The iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30%, making them some of the most powerful arrays ever built, and increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.
Redwire‘s roll-out solar array technology is compact, modular, and scalable, making it ideal for use on the ISS and other spaceflight platforms. iROSA uses large, flexible solar arrays with flexible composite booms that are rolled up for storage, launch, and delivery. When installed, each iROSA unit unrolls without the need for motors or other equipment, giving iROSA an advantage over rigid solar arrays and other traditional technologies. The technology behind iROSA was first demonstrated on the ISS in June 2017.
The arrays were developed by Redwire and delivered to NASA under contract with Boeing, NASA’s prime contractor for space station operations. To learn more about our ROSA technologies, visit our ROSA product page.