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'Bummer:' Astronauts Hit Trouble on Spacewalk

Mike Fincke loses bolt on spacewalk to repair solar wings

(Newser) - Astronaut Mike Fincke ran into trouble today while trying to lubricate a joint in the life-sustaining solar power system of the International Space Station, losing one bolt and getting a washer stuck in a crevice. Fincke, one of NASA's most experienced spacemen, had to settle for a partial lube...

Calif. Utility Aims to Buy Power From Space

Orbiting solar farm planned for 2016

(Newser) - California’s Pacific Gas and Electric is seeking approval for its commitment to buy electricity from an innovative source, the San Francisco Chronicle reports: an orbiting solar power array that would beam electricity back to Earth. Solaren Corp. plans to deploy the satellite sometime before 2016; PG&E has signaled...

Space Station Panels Unfurled, Despite Threat of 'Stiction'

(Newser) - Astronauts on the International Space Station successfully unfurled the last of the craft’s solar panels today, despite the chronic problem of “stiction,” ABC reports. Stiction is, predictably, the engineering term for things sticking together. When panels have had trouble opening in the past, spacemen have resorted to...

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