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New International Space Station Solar Power System Has Jacksonville Connection

Six iROSA solar arrays will augment the power drawn from the existing arrays on the International Space Station.
Boeing
/
Via NASA
Six iROSA solar arrays will augment the power drawn from the existing arrays on the International Space Station.

Two new solar arrays from Jacksonville-based Redwire have been connected to the International Space Station (ISS).

The arrays were launched June 3 aboard the SpaceX-22 cargo resupply mission to the ISS. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet installed the arrays on the far end of the port-side truss of the ISS during three spacewalks on June 16, June 20 and June 25.

The Redwire ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA) were developed and delivered to NASA under contract with Boeing, NASA's prime contractor for space station operations.

"The successful installation of Redwire's innovative iROSA technology will provide a critical power boost to support human endeavors in low Earth orbit," said Andrew Rush, president and COO of Redwire, in a news release. "This mission highlights the station's upgradability and the vital role commercial infrastructure plays in human spaceflight."

The newly installed arrays are the first pair, with the remaining four scheduled to be installed in the near future.

With all six arrays in place after missions in 2022 and 2023, the ISS will be able to produce 20 to 30 percent more power.

Redwire's roll out solar array technology is compact, modular, and scalable. iROSA uses large, flexible solar arrays with flexible composite booms that are rolled up for storage, launch and delivery, according to the company. 

When installed, each iROSA unit unrolls without the need for motors or other equipment.  The technology behind iROSA was first demonstrated on the ISS in June 2017.

The arrays use upgraded solar cells developed by Boeing's Spectrolab.