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Crews Hold News Conference, Prepare for Spacewalk


	*Crews Hold News Conference, Prepare for Spacewalk*
Image above: STS-116 and Expedition 14 crew members participate in a 
joint news conference. Image Credit: NASA TV
GO TO:http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

The STS-116 and the Expedition 14 crews took a break from today’s cargo 
transfers to hold a joint news conference. Other activities include 
preparations for STS-116’s third spacewalk.

All 10 shuttle and station crew members gathered this afternoon in the 
U.S. Destiny Laboratory to field questions from U.S. and European media. 
STS-116 Commander Mark Polansky answered a question about commanding a 
mission with five first-time space travelers. “It has been pretty 
fantastic,” he said. “They are just doing great.”

The crews will enjoy a few hours of light duty before wrapping up the 
day with preparations for Saturday’s spacewalk by STS-116 Mission 
Specialist Robert Curbeam and Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Sunita 
Williams. The preparations include a review of the timeline and the 
overnight campout in the Quest airlock.

Curbeam and Williams will complete the rewiring of the station power 
systems during the spacewalk slated to begin at 2:37 p.m. EST Saturday.

Earlier today, STS-116 Mission Specialists Thomas Reiter and Christer 
Fuglesang had a discussion with Swedish dignitaries. Fuglesang is the 
first Swede to fly in space. At 5:20 p.m., Expedition 14 Commander 
Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin talked with KNX 
Radio, Los Angeles, and National Public Radio.

Flight controllers have conducted several types of tests in their 
efforts to find a way to fold the partially retracted solar array on the 
P6 truss. During the overnight hours, they commanded the array through a 
series of "wiggle" tests, swiveling the wing 10 degrees at a time 
repeatedly to see if that would help the situation. Then about 1 p.m. 
EST, they collected data on array movement while Reiter exercised on 
station equipment. Flight controllers continue to analyze the problem 
and may ask for more tests later today.

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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