[sarex] SARJ Takes Charge, Arrays Track Sun
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Wed Dec 13 19:13:32 PST 2006
> SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
> *SARJ Takes Charge, Arrays Track Sun*
> The International Space Station’s newest set of solar arrays is
> tracking the sun tonight, following partial retraction of a similar
> array that’s been the station’s primary power plant for six years.
> This event sets the stage for two challenging spacewalks by the
> STS-116 crew to rewire and reroute the station’s power system.
> The Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) and the new set of arrays are a
> part of the P3/ P4 truss segments that were installed onto the station
> in September during the STS-115 mission. The rotary joint enables the
> solar arrays to follow the sun and generate the maximum power
> possible. Activation of the SARJ occurred shortly before 8 p.m. EST,
> and a few minutes later the Mission Control Center in Houston notified
> the crew that the arrays were following the sun.
> Throughout the day, the STS-116 crew and flight controllers worked
> together to solve problems that prevented the P6 truss port solar
> arrays from folding properly. The retraction activities of the arrays
> began at 1:28 p.m. More than 40 commands were sent to furl and unfurl
> the arrays in an attempt to properly align them. When the efforts
> concluded about 7:50 p.m., 13.5 of 31 bays had been folded, leaving
> the port arrays in a safe position that allowed the activation of the
> P4 rotary joint.
> The crew also received word that Thursday’s spacewalk will take place
> as planned despite the problems retracting the P6 solar array. Mission
> Specialists Bob Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang, who conducted the
> mission’s first spacewalk, are scheduled to begin Thursday’s orbital
> stroll at 3:12 p.m. They will begin efforts to rewire the station,
> bringing power generated by the P4 arrays on line for use by the
> station's systems and prepare for more arrays to be added next year.
> In preparation for the spacewalk, Curbeam and Fuglesang will again
> "campout" in the station’s airlock. The pressure will be lowered in
> the airlock to the pressure normally found on Earth 10,000 feet above
> sea level during the overnight campout. The procedure protects against
> decompression sickness as Curbeam and Fuglesang go to the even lower
> pressure of spacesuits on Thursday.
> For the latest news and information on the International Space Station
> and the Expedition 14 crew, please visit the main station page. + Read
> more <http://www.nasa.gov/station>
More information about the SAREX