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Spacewalker repairs ISS solar panel
Posted: Sat, Nov 3, 2007, 3:29 PM ET (1929 GMT)
STS-120: EVA #4 (NASA) A NASA astronaut successfully repaired a torn solar panel on the International Space Station during a daring spacewalk on Saturday. Scott Parazynski, stationed on the end of a boom attached to the station's robotic arm, threaded five makeshift hinge supports, dubbed "cufflinks", to shore up a portion of a solar panel on the P^ truss segment that tore earlier in the week. The cufflinks held in place and prevented the panel from suffering any additional repairs when the panel was extended to its full length later in the Saturday morning spacewalk. Engineers on the ground had worked for several days to design the cufflinks and choreograph the unplanned spacewalk, mindful of the risk of electrocution Parazynski faced if he touched any live wires on the panel. NASA officials deemed the repair essential, since the power generated by the panel will be needed for two lab modules that will be added to the station in the coming months.
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