In March 2023, Redwire successfully delivered the third pair of International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) wings to Boeing, NASA’s prime contractor for space station operations. The delivery of wings five and six follows acceptance testing consisting of multiple ambient functional deployments, vibration, and cold and hot temperature deployments. The wings have completed flight package integration in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and are slated to launch on an upcoming commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Redwire was contracted by Boeing to provide six iROSA wings for the ISS. Redwire was responsible for the design, analysis, manufacture, test and delivery of the new solar array wings to augment the ISS’s power supply, built by Redwire teams in Goleta, California. The first pair of iROSA wings were launched and installed on the ISS in June 2021, and the second pair were launched in November 2022 and installed in December. Since installation, all four wings are operating as expected.
Using 30.7% efficient XTJ Prime solar cells from Boeing’s Spectrolab, each iROSA is one of the most powerful manufactured and will provide more than 28 kilowatts of power. Combined, the new arrays are designed to produce more than 120 kilowatts over 10 years and will substantially improve the overall power-generating capability of the ISS by 20 to 30 percent.
Redwire‘s Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) technology is compact, modular and scalable, making it ideal for use on the ISS and other spaceflight platforms. iROSA uses large, flexible photovoltaic blankets with 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 technologies. The technology behind iROSA was first demonstrated on the ISS in June 2017.
A Mission Enabler
Redwire is also producing various modular versions of ROSA for many government and commercial spaceflight applications, including the Power and Propulsion Element for NASA’s Gateway program. ROSA technology also enabled NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, which launched in November 2021 and crashed into asteroid Dimorphos in September 2022, successfully altering the asteroid’s orbit as a method of planetary defense.
Learn more about the latest iROSA installation in this blog.
Read more about Redwire’s innovative ROSA technology here.