Nov 3, 2007

Risky spacewalk by ISS astronauts

A risky affair! Today, astronauts floated out of the International Space Station on a risky spacewalk for what could be a make-or-break repair for completion of the $100 billion space station.

Astronaut Scott Parazynski was headed out to the farthest reaches of the station to mend a solar power panel that is torn. To get to the damaged wing, Parazynski had to strap himself to an arm about 75 feet long that combines an extension boom from the docked space shuttle Discovery and the station's robot arm.

Spacewalk partner Douglas Wheelock was to stay on the station structure, helping guide robot arm operators Daniel Tani and Stephanie Wilson as they gingerly steered Parazynski on a 45-minute ride into place.

The torn, wing-shaped panel is partially extended and needs to be unfurled to its full 110-foot length to work properly. In the panel's current condition, NASA said it does not want to move ahead with expansion plans that call for finishing the outpost by 2010 when the space shuttle fleet needed for construction is to be retired.

Europe's Columbus laboratory is set for delivery by space shuttle Atlantis in December, five years behind schedule, followed by Japan's three-part Kibo complex next year. Link


Anonymous said...

why are NASA's photographs so incredibly pathetic in quality? I mean honestly we're pushing into the year 2010, not 1970. I could donate an 200 dollar camera to NASA so they don't have to use $10 webcams to take their pictures. I've seen upskirt cameraphone pictures on the web that looked MANY times better than the sneaky JUNK nasa releases

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