[sarex] Spacewalkers Fold Solar Array

Arthur Rowe azrowe80 at verizon.net
Mon Dec 18 19:42:29 PST 2006


	*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 
more <http://www.nasa.gov/station>

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