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Spacewalkers Prep SARJ for Action


Astronauts Patrick Forrester and Steve Swanson continued work to 
activate the International Space Station’s Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) 
truss segment during STS-117’s second spacewalk. The 7-hour, 16-minute 
excursion wrapped up at 9:44 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

The spacewalking duo first assisted with the retraction of the starboard 
solar array on the Port 6 (P6) truss. They left launch restraints still 
attached on the S3/S4 Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ). Flight 
controllers want to take a closer look at a drive lock assembly on the 
SARJ. After the launch restraints are removed on an upcoming spacewalk, 
the rotary joint will allow the S3/S4 arrays to track the sun as the 
station orbits Earth.

13 of the P6’s 31.5 array bays were retracted Wednesday, and the crew 
will send commands Thursday to retract the remaining bays. Before moving 
on to SARJ, Forrester and Swanson “fluffed” the array to allow easier 
retraction on Thursday.

The retraction of the P6 array clears the line of sight for the S3/S4 
arrays to track the sun and sets the stage for the P6’s relocation by a 
future shuttle crew from atop the station to the end of the Port 5 truss.

Mission Specialist Jim Reilly coordinated the spacewalk, and Pilot Lee 
Archambault operated the station’s robotic arm. Two more spacewalks are 
scheduled for STS-117. The next is set for Friday.

In other activities, Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and 
Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clayton Anderson continued to transfer 
cargo between the station and Space Shuttle Atlantis.
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