The International Space Station (ISS) will be receiving an early holiday gift as the next pair of ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA) are set to launch on SpaceX’s 26th commercial resupply mission for NASA. The arrays were developed by Redwire and delivered to NASA under contract with Boeing, NASA’s prime contractor for space station operations. Liftoff is targeted for 3:54 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 22 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The new arrays will be installed during upcoming spacewalks on the space station. On Nov. 29, two astronauts will install an iROSA wing and on Dec. 3, a pair of astronauts will install the next iROSA wing. These will be the third and fourth iROSAs out of a total six planned for installation. The iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30%, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.
Caption: The first pair of iROSA’s were launched to ISS in June 2021, as featured in this video.
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.
To learn more about the impact of Redwire’s roll-out solar array technology on NASA missions, check out this feature story from NASA.