back to article NASA delays space station repair to ponder tear

NASA is delaying a risky spacewalk to repair a torn solar wing panel on the International Space Station. The delay will give Mission Control at Johnson Space Center until Saturday to refine instructions for the unprecedented operation. Discovery crew members will also use the time to improvise repair devices from inside the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    NASA and the astronaut may face the shock of their lives if they didn't bring the right super glue....good luck and stick with it...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Ahh... the sorrow...

    A solitary tear rolled down my solar panel...

  3. E

    Little Green Persons

    Clearly, since the human astronauts cannot go outside without weeks of preparation, the Russians were not out there picking at the solar panel. The Americans can't be behind it with advanced space-robot tech because they never ever invent new threats until the old ones are quite worn out - this is not the case currently.

    Therefore this is the work of tearorist space aliens. Why isn't Lester Haines on this story already?

  4. E

    @David Wiernicki

    I am blinded by the brilliance of your comment. I laughed out loud!

  5. Emo


    I dont think sewing is on the NASA training list.

    Maybe they will issue duct tape as standard now?

  6. Sergiu Panaite


    So... they would jettison an entire solar panel because of a tear. Sorry, but.. what?

    At least be a bit more specific and explain why exactly it poses such great danger to have it only partially deployed, otherwise all you'll get it silly comments (like this one).

  7. David Sidebotham

    Obvious really

    I have the same problem with the blinds in my house.

    You think NASA would have sorted the technology by now.

  8. Robin Traylor

    Minmatar at its best.

    Duck tape for the win! Any Matari internet spaceship pod pilots out there will be proud :)

  9. druck Silver badge


    I wouldn't like to tackle that job without a bit of preparation - a buckled solar panel with sharp spacesuit puncturing edges and high voltage running through it. The astronauts will certainly be earning their money if they fix that one.

  10. Anonymous John

    Re ...what?

    Possibly they're worried about it damaging other panels if it suffers further damage. It isn't fully rigid until fully extended. Which is why they can't allow the portside panels to rotate to track the sun, until it's sorted one way or another.

    As things stand, they can't retract it or extend it further without risking further damage. I imagine it's possible that they may get more power by jettisoning it and allowing the rotating joint to rotate. Even docking a spacecraft with the ISS could damage it.

    I doubt it will be necessary though.

  11. Graham Jordan

    So if it goes tits up

    We can expect a solar panal following the fridge sometime soon?

    Admit it NASA, target practice isn't. Hit Tehran, score 200 points and a nice phat pay cheque from Bush.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re ...what?

    The biggest reason to dump the panel is because it isn't fully extended it doesnt have the capacity to serve all the new instruments being installed on the station.

    But NASA is also concerned that the torn area will continue to release small fragments of material that could cause damage to other parts of the station by fouling machinery.

  13. Jacob Reid
    Thumb Up


    The Matari would never use solar panels - these would make their ships be too slow...

  14. Luther Blissett

    OK you Grey Alien filth, hand over Lucy now

    Either Lucy has been kidnapped, or her ID has been deleted (compromised), or more likely El Reg now stands revealed as a US DoD spin machine-let, spinning daily happy stories of urbane Space Men who are not above showing their feminine side by doing a little needlework on their Silver Machine while sweating their b******s off in that cosmic metaphor for a New Age playground that they (not forgetting Big Al Gore and his Orion monkey suit) would like to see all of the rest of us aspire to. And pay for. (See previous El Reg stories on "space" travel for the idle rich). For ever and ever. Amen[1].

    And they assume, without a shred of proof, and with the arrogance that only group-think coteries inured from the rest of the human race and inducted by their own wishful thinking into Magical Mystery Tours (like Chartres) of an esoteric type are capable of, that the Vulcans[2], whenever they finally appear (or are discovered), are actually going to side with them! May I remind them that Justice is blind (so no need to stick needles in her eye, as per the Stockwell tube execution aftermath), and Reason is of necessity universalizable (as Kant observed), so sucking up to the New Overlords and pretending to be the Big Cheeses on the planet is not going to make an iota of difference (as if Vulcans would not be able to beam over piles of Fed notes indistinguishable from the "real" thing in the blink of an eye - printing presses being so very Reformation). That is the Alpha and that is the Omega.

    Makes one ponder, doesn't it?

    [1] Aka Amun, Amon (not originally Greek). OTOH maybe the latter were just spinning for the former. YMMV.

    [2] q.v. Blavatsky (not Roddenberry) . OTOH maybe the latter was just spinning for the former. YMMV.

  15. Luther Blissett

    Help, I think I'm turning into one of them

    Not shape-shifting Greys, you fools. El Reg hacks, I mean. Can't you read the resemblance? Is there a cure (apart from the deep blue CNET)? OMG there I've gone and done it again.

    Weekend in Paris perhaps. Ok white coat time and medication.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Super Glue

    Super Glue won't work in space. It requires a microscopic film of water vapor in order to adhere. Lacking that, it is useless. It also fails in earth, in extremely low humidity, for the same reason.

    One of the many useless bits of trivia I've acquired that I never thought I'd share...

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