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Station Spreads New Wings;


*Station Spreads New Wings; Crew to Prep for Spacewalk*

Image above: The rear-facing solar array on the space station's S3/S4 
truss is fully deployed. Image credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station spread its new set of wings today,
and now the STS-117 crew members can turn their attention to the 
missionís next spacewalk.


The solar arrays on the newly installed Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss 
segment deployed to their full length with the assistance of the STS-117 
crew. The S3/S4 was installed onto the station Monday before the start 
of STS-117ís first spacewalk, during which STS-117 astronauts began 
activating the truss. The arrays will increase the stationís ability to 
generate power when they go online.

Todayís deployment activities occurred in steps, beginning about 11:43 
a.m. EDT. The forward-facing array on the S3/S4 was first deployed to 
its length of 115 feet. The procedure was repeated for the rear-facing 
array which was fully deployed about 1:58 p.m.

The STS-117 astronauts are scheduled to enjoy a few hours of off duty 
time this afternoon before beginning preparations for the missionís 
second spacewalk on Wednesday. Mission Specialists Steve Swanson and Pat 
Forrester will continue the activation of the S3/S4 and assist in the 
retraction of the starboard solar array on the Port 6 (P6) truss during 
the spacewalk. Wednesdayís excursion is scheduled to begin at 2:03 p.m.

The P6 will move from its location atop the station to the end of the 
Port 5 truss during a future mission.

Tonight at 9:13, STS-117 crew members will participate in interviews 
with CBS News and El Paso, Texas, TV stations KFOX-TV and KTSM-TV. The 
interviews will be aired on NASA TV.

*Managers Add Spacewalk, 2 Days to Mission*

During a post-mission management briefing Monday, John Shannon, chair of 
the Mission Management Team, announced NASA will extend the mission two 
extra days and add a fourth spacewalk. The team extended the mission by 
two days and added a fourth EVA to provide time to repair the raised 
thermal blanket on the Orbital Maneuvering System pod. A decision about 
whether that job will be done on EVA 3 or EVA 4 is expected today.

The next Mission Status Briefing is slated to take place at 6 p.m. today 
and air on NASA TV.

*STS-117 Mission*
+ The Crew 

+ The Mission 

+ The Integrated Truss Structure 
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