WASHINGTON — Redwire will provide solar panels and other components for Blue Ring, an orbital transfer vehicle under development by Blue Origin.
Redwire announced Jan. 22 that it won a contract from Blue Origin to provide four of its Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) systems, along with cameras and power distribution units. The companies did not disclose the value of the contract or when Redwire will deliver the components.
Blue Origin revealed the Blue Ring project last October, calling it a “spacecraft platform focused on providing in-space logistics and delivery” from medium Earth orbit to cislunar space. The vehicle is designed to carry up to 3,000 kilograms of payloads, including both hosted payloads and spacecraft.
The company, which had been hinting for a year that it was working on a space tug of some kind, has released little other information about Blue Ring, including when it expects the vehicle to enter service. The illustration Blue Origin released of the spacecraft last year did feature solar arrays that look similar to the ROSA systems developed by Redwire.
Blue Ring is the latest customer for ROSA, versions of which have flown on NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and have been installed on the International Space Station. The Power and Propulsion Element module of the lunar Gateway in development will also use ROSA.
“Redwire is proud to be a key mission enabler for the innovative Blue Ring platform,” Mike Gold, chief growth officer of Redwire, said in a statement about the contract. “The breadth of capabilities Redwire is providing for Blue Ring leverages decades of spaceflight heritage and a steadfast commitment to innovation and reliability.”
This contract is not the first time the two companies have worked together. Redwire is a partner on Orbital Reef, the commercial space station project being led by Blue Origin and Sierra Space as a successor to the International Space Station.