NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) chose the Ascent Solar’s CIGS solar technology for an experiment on the International Space Station. The MISSE-X (Materials International Space Station Experiment) flight experiment launched on Nov. 17, 2018 aboard the NG CRS-10 mission. The NG CRS-10 subsequently docked on the ISS on Nov. 19.
NASA is evaluating the company’s flexible, ultra-lightweight, monolithically integrated CIGS photovoltaics for various missions, including CubeSats and future missions to the moon and even Mars.
NASA’s selection of the firm’s PV is a critical path for entering the challenging space market.
The new micro-module, in the size of 0.5 inch x 2 inch, features six (6) solar cells monolithically integrated into a series but has all of the standard traits of the company’s other larger modules. As such, the micro-module is ideal for evaluating the product in flight experiments that are typically space-limited. At this small size, NASA is able to include several Ascent Solar samples to be exposed to the same space conditions with various protective space coatings.
Dr. Armstrong said, “We anticipate that the experiment will be attached onto the space station for a year or more and will be returned to earth for further evaluation.”
Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent Solar stated, “Developing a PV module capable of integrating into a deployable array for CubeSats and future exploration missions puts us in a very unique position in the industry to answer the needs of these future markets.”