December 18, 2006


Just anouther day on the job:

Two spacewalking astronauts finished folding up a stubborn, accordion-like solar array Monday, resolving the only complication in space shuttle Discovery's otherwise smooth mission to the international space station.

Shuttle astronauts Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang managed to get the last section of the 115-foot array folded into a box about five hours into the 6 1/2-hour spacewalk. It was the fourth venture outside for Discovery's astronauts during their visit to the orbiting outpost.

Did they bang on it with a wrench? It would make my day if they banged on it with a wrench to get it to work.

The pair used a scraper to try to get the array unstuck, shook the panel and used pliers to tighten the wire that folds it up. It was a stop-and-go process with astronauts inside the space station repeatedly sending remote-controlled commands to fold up the array. Curbeam worked from the end of the space station's robotic arm.


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