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Astronauts Working to Retract Solar Array



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31458

*Astronauts Working to Retract Solar Array*

S116-E-05789 : port-side P6 solar array Image above: A kink is seen in 
the port-side P6 solar array during the first attempt to retract it. 
Image Credit: NASA
+ View hi-resolution photo 
<http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/164903main_s116e05789.jpg> (GO 
TO:http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html)

Discovery's crew is still working on the retraction of the port P6 solar 
arrays that began at 1:28 p.m. EST (6:28 utc). The bays have not been 
folding properly, and astronauts have been repeatedly retracting and 
deploying the panels in an attempt to properly align them.

The folding of this 115-foot long solar array, which has been unfurled 
for more than 6 years, will permit the activation of a rotary joint on 
the P4 truss. The Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, or SARJ, enables the solar 
arrays on the P4 to follow the sun as the station moves through orbital 
sunrise and sunset.

Activation of the SARJ will follow the retraction.

Two more spacewalks during STS-116's stay will rewire and redistribute 
power on the station.

Once automatic sun tracking is confirmed for the new P4 arrays, the 
stage is set for the second spacewalk, scheduled to begin at 3:12 
p.m.(8:12 UTC) Thursday. Mission Specialists Bob Curbeam and Christer 
Fuglesang, who conducted the mission’s first spacewalk, will perform 
Thursday’s excursion.

Curbeam and Fuglesang will again "campout" in the station’s airlock to 
prepare for the spacewalk. During the overnight “campout” the pressure 
will be lowered in the airlock to the pressure normally found on Earth 
10,000 feet above sea level. The procedure protects against 
decompression sickness as Curbeam and Fuglesang go to the even lower 
pressure of spacesuits on Thursday.

In other activities today, crewmembers will field questions from the CBS 
Radio Network, the Fox Radio Network and SPACE.com at 8:07 p.m.

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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