Metal shavings found in ISS solar array joint
My Way News – Trouble Found on Space Station Device
They were hoping that power spikes in the drive for the newest of the solar array “ferris wheels” on the Space Station would turn out to stem from a misadjusted bolt or something. So it must have come as quite a shock when astronauts on the latest EVA removed insulation from the joint assembly, and found it critical parts covered in metallic grit. The current wishful thinking about the grit being flakes of aluminum from the metalized mylar insulation must be tempered by accounts of discoloration of some parts of the giant drive gears for the 10 ft.-diameter joint:
SPACE.com — NASA Eyes Worrisome Debris in Space Station Joint
The only upside I can see is that when the Russians become sole residents of the ISS in 2010, it’ll very likely be a “fixer upper”.
SPACE.com — NASA Eyes Delayed Shuttle Launch, New Spacewalk Plans
After the EVA, the sample of shavings found in the solar array mast joint was found by the STS crew to be magnetic—almost certainly steel from the bearings or their races.
Here’s the best ground-based photo so far of mini-planet (?) Pluto and it’s moon, Charon. If nobody goobered anything up too badly, New Horizons should get much more detail in a few years.
Just in time for H’ween. Should not be viewed while drinking milk or really fizzy soda.