Tear found on newly-unfurled space station solar array

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It looks like the space station’s latest solar array is causing NASA yet more headaches, as a small tear was spotted by astronauts shortly after it was unfurled earlier today. The first of two solar arrays installed as part of this mission did unfurl without a hitch, but the second forced the astronauts to abruptly stop the deployment and inspect the damage, with a final verdict apparently still yet to be determined. This follows the discovery of some metal shavings in a motorized joint on Sunday, for which NASA already added a day to Discovery’s mission in order to conduct a detailed inspection. As the AP points out, the space station needs all the juice from the new array it can get, with both the European Space Agency’s soon-to-be-launched Columbus science lab and an upcoming Japanese lab dependent on it for power.


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