NASA Buys Time for Dangerous Spacewalk

Engineers work around the clock to make mission safer
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2007 12:55 PM CDT
In this image from NASA TV, Canadian astronaut Dave Williams is seen during a space walk on the international space station, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007. Astronauts aboard the shuttle Endeavour and the international...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – NASA has pushed back until tomorrow a spacewalk to repair a key solar panel, allowing engineers as much prep time as possible for the risky mission. An astronaut will perch alone on the station’s 80-foot robotic arm to work on the electrified panel. "It's a real test of the adaptability of this team," a NASA honcho told the Houston Chronicle.

The repair is expected to take an hour; because spacewalkers normally stay within 30 minutes of an airlock, another astronaut will be below Scott Parazynski to help in an emergency. Other crew members have rigged up straps, called "cuff links," to repair the rips in the 110-foot panel, which tore on Tuesday as it was being unfurled.