Redwire Sun Sensors Guiding the Way for NASA’s Orion Spacecraft

NASA’s Artemis I mission is launching no earlier than August 29, kicking off a new generation of space exploration and scientific discovery. Redwire is proud to be supporting the game-changing Artemis program, which will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon while setting the stage for future missions to Mars.  

Alongside the Orion Cameras System, Redwire Critical Components is enabling this groundbreaking mission. Through a contract with Airbus, Redwire is providing four redundant Coarse Sun Sensor (CSS) detector assemblies for Orion’s European Service Module (ESM), a critical part of Orion’s solar power generation system. Redwire’s CSS detectors are an important part of the Solar Array Drive Electronics and will provide the data needed to adjust the ESM and Orion’s solar panels, ensuring that the spacecraft has the power it needs.  

The CSS is a small, lightweight sun sensor that offers approximate cosine and conical symmetry field of view capabilities and is used for sun acquisition, solar array pointing, and fail-safe recovery.  

Redwire’s CSS is a small, lightweight sun sensor that offers approximate cosine and conical symmetry field of view capabilities and is used for sun acquisition, solar array pointing, and fail-safe recovery.

Redwire’s CSS has an impressive legacy of flight heritage and mission reliability.  CSS technology has successfully performed in highly elliptical, geostationary and low- and medium-Earth orbits, on various interplanetary missions to the Moon and Mars and in deep space.  

Redwire has been a key supplier of critical sun sensors for more than 50 years, and this technology, which includes the CSS, Fine Sun Sensor, and Digital Sun Sensor, has enabled more than 70 NASA missions. Artemis I also isn’t the first time Redwire sun sensors have enabled missions to the Moon. Redwire sun sensors have been part of GRAIL, Lunar Prospector, and LRO/LCROSS missions.

Enabling the Success of Artemis   

Redwire CSS technology will also enable future Artemis missions, which will include a crewed mission to the Lunar surface. Redwire has already successfully delivered CSS assemblies for future Artemis missions and is under contract with Airbus to provide these assemblies for all Artemis missions through ESM-6. 

Redwire is also proud to be supporting other key elements of the Artemis program. For example, Redwire is providing Roll-out Solar Arrays for the Power and Propulsion element of NASA’s Lunar Gateway. Learn more about Redwire’s other contributions to the Artemis program 

CSS technology is currently providing critical navigation capability on exciting missions like NASA’s Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids and IXPE mission to observe black holes and neutron stars. CSS technology is also enabling NOAA’s GOES platforms for Earth weather monitoring.  

As the Artemis I mission unfolds over approximately 42-days, check out Redwire’s Artemis I mission dashboard and social media channels for mission updates, footage, and insights. 

Stay Informed.

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep pace with one of the most innovative and fastest growing space companies on and off Earth.










Heritage + Innovation

Contact Redwire today and discover how we can help make your mission a success.

Redwire continues to lead the way in pioneering innovative in-space manufacturing and servicing technologies that deliver incomparable benefits and cost savings across a wide range of applications.

Website + Salesforce
Website links or URLs of any kind are not permitted.