ISS Wants Extra Photo voltaic Panels, Boeing Jumps In to Assist
It wasn’t long ago that the fate of the International Space Station (ISS) was shaken when its operators sought funding to keep it going. This problem has been resolved in the short term and the ISS is now aiming to expand.
And by expansion we do not mean an increase in residential capacity, but an increase in the electricity supply generated.
As most of you already know, the station generates its electricity using solar panels. There are currently eight of them mounted on the station’s backbone (called the truss), each 112 feet long and 39 feet wide.
Starting later this year, Boeing will increase this capacity significantly after announcing it will deliver six new arrays to the ISS. The new hardware is 63 by 20 feet in size. is to generate 120 kilowatts of electricity and thus increase the initial capacity of the existing drilling rig by up to 30 percent.
“Right now the space station is on the right track when it comes to breakthrough research and technological development,” said John Mulholland, ISS vice president and program manager at Boeing.
“These arrays, along with other recent upgrades to the station’s power system and data rate, will ensure the ISS remains an incubator and business model in the commercial space ecosystem for decades to come. Access to this unique laboratory will continue to pay off as researchers examine the challenges of future space exploration and make discoveries that will improve life on earth. “
The space station is currently the longest continuously operated human-made structure in space. The first component was placed there in 1998, and it is estimated that if properly maintained, it could remain in service well into the 2030s.
Last November, the station celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first people to get there. Since then, 241 people from 19 countries have been accommodated in the station.