According to BBC News, NASA recently made a film of a spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS), when Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada installed two new solar arrays. They installed these solar panels in a total time of seven hours and five minutes.
During a seven hours and eight-minute spacewalk, NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio implemented the fourth International Space Station (ISS) Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) on the ISS. The two astronauts’ previous spacewalk to install the third iROSA early in the month took a comparable amount of time to what this one did. Next year, spacewalks are scheduled to install two more iROSAs onto the ISS. The ISS’s ability to generate power will increase by 30% once all six iROSAs have been deployed, bringing the total amount of power available from 160 kilowatts to 215 kilowatts.
Why Spacewalkers Installing Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA)?
The spacewalkers will install an iROSA and cut a cable to enable the 1B power channel to be turned back on after being shut down by a power trip inside its electrical system. According to NASA’s space station blog, cutting the cable may isolate the impacted area of the array and return the channel to 75 percent of total of its typical working capacity.
Compact, modular, and scalable, red wire’s roll-out solar array technology is perfect to be used on the ISS and other aerospace platforms. With flexible composite booms that can be folded up for storage, launch, and delivery, iROSA uses immense, flexible solar arrays. The feature which iROSA has over solid solar arrays and other conventional technologies is that each iROSA unit unrolls when it is installed without the use of motors or other machinery. In June 2017, the ISS hosted the first demonstration of the iROSA technology.
In accordance with a contract with Boeing, NASA’s principal contractor for space station operations, Redwire created the arrays and delivered them to NASA.