Augmented power supply to enhance station’s health and enable more research
HOUSTON, TX (STL.News) Boeing [NYSE: BA] will support the International Space Station’s (ISS) growing research capabilities and commercial opportunities with new solar arrays to increase the orbiting laboratory’s power supply. The modification to Boeing’s ISS sustainment contract with NASA calls for Boeing to deliver six additional solar arrays to NASA for installation beginning in 2021.
The new 63-foot-by-20-foot (19-meter-by-6-meter) arrays will together produce more than 120 kilowatts of electricity from the sun’s energy, enough to power more than 40 average U.S. homes. Combined with the eight original, larger arrays, this advanced hardware will provide a 20 to 30 percent increase in power, helping to maximize the station’s capabilities for years to come. The arrays will provide ISS with electricity to sustain its systems and equipment, plus augment the electricity available to continue a wide variety of public and private experiments and research in the station’s unique microgravity environment.
“When it comes to game-changing research and technological development, the space station is currently hitting its full stride,” said John Mulholland, ISS vice president and program manager for Boeing. “These arrays, along with other recent upgrades to the station’s power system and data-transfer speed, will ensure that ISS remains an incubator and business model in the commercial space ecosystem for the coming decades.