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100th ISS Spacewalk Will Examine Array Joint Issue

Whitson, Tani To Perform Analysis December 18

An important spacewalk outside the International Space Station is scheduled for next week, that NASA hopes will provide some answers regarding a mysterious problem with a solar array joint. Station Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan Tani will perform the 100th spacewalk in support of ISS assembly on Tuesday, December 18. They will inspect the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) and the Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA).

The SARJ and BGA have been temporarily locked in place while the solar arrays still produce power. Whitson and Tani completed a procedure review on Friday and held a tagup with the lead spacewalk officer on the ground.

Kirk Shireman, station program deputy manager called the spacewalk a "fact-finding mission." The spacewalkers will report back to ground controllers what they find and return a trundle assembly back inside the station. Specialists on the ground will use the results to determine how to restore the starboard solar array's sun-tracking capability.

A move of the Mobile Transporter to worksite 4 in the center of the station's truss Friday from worksite 7 -- to provide micrometeoroid debris protection to the spacewalkers -- was postponed Friday after station cameras detected what appeared to be a piece of insulation on the truss track. Flight controllers continue to analyze the situation, according to NASA.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

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