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P6 Solar Array Wing Retracting


*P6 Solar Array Wing Retracting*

retracted. Image Credit: NASA TV

The first step in STS-116’s challenging job of rerouting power aboard 
the International Space Station is under way as the left wing of the 
solar array on the station's P6 truss has begun to slowly retract and 
fold up. The retraction began at 1:28 p.m. EST.

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 is set for 2:57 p.m.

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. 
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, crew members 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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