Doing so allows the new arrays to use the tracking and power distribution systems of the existing

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[ NASA to upgrade space station solar arrays ]

The arrays will be installed on top of six of the eight existing solar arrays on the station. Doing so allows the new arrays to use the tracking and power distribution systems of the existing arrays, minimizing the amount of new equipment needed. Each array will require two spacewalks to prepare the location where the arrays will be installed, and then to do the installation itself.

That installation means the new arrays will partially shadow the old ones, covering a little more than half of each array. However, the new arrays are more efficient, producing more power than what will be lost by covering the old arrays. NASA estimates that, when all six new arrays are installed, the overall power system will generate 215 kilowatts of power, compared to 160 kilowatts the existing arrays provide.

Publisher: SpaceNews
Date: 2021-01-12T11:59:06+00:00
Twitter: @SpaceNews_Inc
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New Solar Arrays to Power NASA’s International Space Station Research

As the International Space Station orbits Earth, its four pairs of solar arrays soak up the sun’s energy to provide electrical power for the numerous research and science investigations conducted every day, as well as the continued operations of the orbiting platform.

The space station is the springboard to NASA’s Artemis missions to the Moon, a platform to test advanced technologies for human exploration of deep space and future mission to Mars. NASA also has opened the space station for business and commercial activities, including private astronauts missions.

Though they are functioning well, the current solar arrays are showing signs of degradation, as expected. To ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond as well as utilization and commercialization, NASA will be augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays. Boeing, NASA’s prime contractor for space station operations, its subsidiary Spectrolab, and major supplier Deployable Space Systems (DSS) will provide the new arrays. The combination of the eight original, larger arrays, and the smaller, more efficient new arrays will restore the power generation of each augmented array to approximately the amount generated when the original arrays were first installed, providing a 20% to 30% increase in power for space station research and operations.

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NASA Confirms ISS Getting Solar Array Upgrade

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Boeing to boost space station power supply with new solar arrays

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Space Station To Get Solar Cell Boost from Boeing Subsidiary in Sylmar

A new set of solar cells built in Sylmar will help the International Space Station extend cutting-edge orbital research capabilities and commercial opportunities for years to come, it was announced Monday.

Spectrolab, a Boeing company based in Sylmar, produces XTJ Prime solar cells, some of the most powerful ever launched into space, which operate with the space station’s new solar panels, according to Boeing.

They are the same solar cells that power Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in flight and while docked to the ISS. Spectrolab also produced the station’s original solar cells, as well as the solar cells tested on the prototype.

Date: 2021-01-12T01:42:09+00:00
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Boeing to provide six solar arrays for int’l space station

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Boeing announced on Monday that it 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 announcement said.

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.

Publisher: Big News
Twitter: @BigNewsNetwork
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