[sarex] Spacewalkers Fold Solar Array
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Mon Dec 18 19:42:29 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Spacewalkers Fold Solar Array*
The STS-116 crew folded the port solar array on the International Space
Station’s P6 truss during the mission's fourth spacewalk. The 6-hour, 38
minute excursion by Mission Specialists Robert Curbeam and Christer
Fuglesang concluded at 8:38 p.m. EST.
Curbeam and Fuglesang freed up the array for retraction with several
techniques -- pulling guide wires, flipping grommets, and pushing panel
hinges. The spacewalkers also shook the solar array panel. The final bay
was folded about 6:54 p.m. EST.
One of the guide wires looped out of the proper configuration during the
folding process and the spacewalkers tightened it before commands were
sent to latch the arrays.
Another objective of today’s spacewalk, which was STS-116’s fourth, was
to collect information that could prove useful when the opposite side of
the array is retracted during the STS-117 mission in March.
The start of the spacewalk at 2 p.m. was a historic moment for Curbeam,
who became the first astronaut to conduct four spacewalks during a
single mission. This was Fuglesang’s third. Expedition 14 Flight
Engineer Sunita Williams conducted one.
Pilot Bill Oefelein coordinated the spacewalk activities. Mission
Specialist Joan Higginbotham and Williams were at the controls of the
station’s robot arm, Canadarm2.
Attention now turns to Discovery’s departure. Discovery is scheduled to
undock at 5:09 p.m. Tuesday, ending STS-116’s eight-day stay at the
For the latest news and information on the International Space Station
and the Expedition 14 crew, please visit the main station page. + Read
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