Headlines > News > P6 Arrays to Retract to Spark STS-116 Electrical Work

P6 Arrays to Retract to Spark STS-116 Electrical Work

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:36 pm
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The process of rerouting solar power aboard the International Space Station begins today.

The first task is the retraction of the left wing of the solar array on the station’s P6 truss beginning at 1:22 p.m. EST. The retraction of this 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, will allow 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 are scheduled during STS-116’s stay to 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, crewmembers 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

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