ISS Gets a Solar Power Upgrade

Updated: Jul 1

The new package will bump up the station's power generating capabilities. It may look like a giant guitar, but it's a very special solar array.

The next phase of space exploration calls for a next-level solution for power requirements. Especially when, with dozens of private firms vying for their shot at the nascent space economy, you need an optimized, sustainable energy resource with minimal costs. And we're about to witness the first steps toward that future.


The first pair of six state-of-the-art solar arrays are going to the International Space Station as soon as next Thursday, representing the first steps in a major upgrade of the ISS' power generative abilities, enhancing its ability to perform science experiments and commercial endeavors in near-zero gravity, according to a Tuesday press release from Redwire, the solar arrays' developer.


Called the International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs), the initial pair of new solar arrays are set to liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 3 June.


The new solar cells come from Boeing's Spectrolab, and enable every iROSA solar array to generate more than 20 kilowatts of power, bumping up the station's maximum power capability by 25 percent. The initial pair of solar arrays will be installed via a series of spacewalks, after arriving at the ISS on June 4. The further four arrays will reach the station in 2023.

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