NASA Plans Spacewalk To Fix Ripped Solar Wing - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

SHREVEPORT, LA-Nov. 1

NASA Plans Spacewalk To Fix Ripped Solar Wing

NASA engineers are planning
some big Saturday chores for the astronauts at the international
space station.
The centerpiece project is a spacewalk to try to fix a couple of
rips in a solar panel. It tore while being unfurled by astronauts
Tuesday, apparently snagging a support for one of the solar wing's
guide wires. Engineers don't want to reel it in for fear of causing
further damaging, and the station's robot arm is too short to reach
the torn section. So NASA plans to attach the shuttle inspection
boom to the arm and send one of the astronauts up on it to free the
snag.
Space station program manager Mike Suffredini says ignoring the
wing damage could allow the problem to worsen and possibly lose its
ability to collect power. If that happens, it would have to be
junked.
The other major issue also involves the space station's power
supply. A rotary joint that allows another set of solar panels to
turn toward the sun is snarled. The astronauts had planned to
inspect it on a spacewalk today, but that's been put off to deal
with the rips.

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