Space Station's Solar Panel Rips

Spacewalking astronauts discover large tear
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2007 4:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – A critical solar panel on the International Space Station tore today as Mission Control was unfurling it remotely. The station's power supply was already wobbly because of damage to another panel discovered Sunday, the Houston Chronicle reports, and the rip worsens the problem. Astronauts beamed photos of the panel to NASA, which determined the extent of the damage.

The Discovery crew will extend its mission a day to repair the damage, reports ABC News. "We kept coming back to the option of adding a day so I think in the end it doesn't really surprise us," said shuttle commander Pam Melroy. Astronauts had just finished bolting the truss into its new location after a 7-hour spacewalk when the tear was discovered.