Space Station's New Wings About To Get Stretched

Friday, March 20th 2009, 6:19 am
By: News On 6

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The international space station's newly installed solar wings are about to get stretched.

Astronauts aboard the orbiting station-shuttle complex will start unfurling the two wings late Friday morning, by remote control.

NASA managers say they expect to be on pins and needles throughout the five-hour procedure. That's because the wings could get hung up or some of the panels could stick together. That's happened before on previous flights.

On Thursday, a pair of spacewalking astronauts successfully hooked up the $300 million framework that holds the folded-up wings. The spacewalk lasted six hours - record time for a job like this.

Two more spacewalks are scheduled while shuttle Discovery is docked to the space station. The shuttle is due to depart next week.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.