#WednesdayWisdom of the Week: More Solar for NASA’s International Space Station!
NASA’s International Space Station is expected to go through some new repairs in the next few months to improve their power operations for the station and the astronauts abroad. Interestingly enough, one of these repairs will consist of a new set of solar arrays to add to the station.
The ISS has eight solar arrays already mounted, therefore, the new addition will be placed over the original ones “to use the tracking and power distribution systems of the existing arrays, minimizing the amount of new equipment needed.”
While this installation will cause shadowing concerns, the new set of solar arrays have been designed with more efficiency in generating energy from the Sun. In fact, these solar arrays are estimated to produce “215 kilowatts of power,” 55 kilowatts more than what was being produced before.
These new arrays have also been designed with roll out mechanics known as ROSA (“Roll Out Solar Arrays”). Similar to foam mattresses, these arrays will arrive rolled up in the SpaceX Dragon, for easy placement. They will then expand in space and be installed during a spacewalk after arrival to the ISS (Foust, 2021).
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Foust, Jeff. (2021, January 12). NASA to upgrade space station solar arrays. SpaceNews. Retrieved from https://spacenews.com/nasa-to-upgrade-space-station-solar-arrays/.