Feeds

Astronauts complete spacewalk two

Discover dodgy metal shavings, too

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The astronauts of the space shuttle Discovery have completed the second spacewalk of the two-week mission to the International Space Station (ISS), and are preparing for the third.

During the spacewalk, one of the crew discovered metal shavings inside a rotary joint on a solar array. The joint is needed to allow the panels to turn to track the sun, but for now NASA has elected to limit its movement to prevent the shavings causing serious damage.

The discovery explains current spikes that have been registered from the array over the last six weeks or so, NASA told US reporters. As the array's movement is being restricted, it will not be able to supply its maximum power. This makes it all the more important that the crew successfully completes the relocation of a 17.5 ton solar array truss during this mission.

The array, which astronauts are currently manoeuvring with the robotic arms on both space shuttle and station, needs to be reinstalled on the space station to provide power to the European Space Agency's Columbus lab unit. Columbus is due to be connected to the Harmony docking station on the next shuttle mission.

Discovery did bring spare parts, including new bearings, for the joint. However, NASA says the crew is unlikely to have time to deal with the problem. Instead, Discovery's crew will make further inspections that will allow the full-time ISS crew to make repairs later. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.