Solar Powered Cargo Ferries Planned for Sending Supplies to International Space Station
NASA’s International Space Station will be delivered supplies by nine solar powered Orbital Science’s Cygnus cargo ferries and the whole feat will be orchestrated through global cooperation. The cargo ferries will be built by Orbital Sciences of Virginia, USA while the shell of the cargo will be put together by Italy’s Thales Alenia Space and the entire solar array with solar cells and solar panel substrates will be tested and integrated by Dutch Space. Solar energy is the cleanest energy option for such space endeavors since solar powered vehicles are completely disposable and they don’t leave behind space litter.
This is not the first instance of use of solar panels for powering space vehicles. The Dutch Space company itself had earlier provided solar panel to European Space Administration’s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle. The International Space Station was due to function only till 2010 and with the supplies from cargo ships spread over years it will function till 2016. Space stations and research seems to be getting a shot in arm with use of renewable energy. Hope we will see similar global cooperation at earth level to reduce carbon foot print and change over to clean green energy.