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Astronauts Hang a New Solar Wing on Telescope

The Nation | IN BRIEF / IN SPACE

March 05, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Spacewalking astronauts hung a new, blue solar wing on the Hubble Space Telescope, then flipped open the hinged 25-foot panel like the cover of a storybook.

"Hello, Mr. Hubble, the telescope," chief repairman John Grunsfeld said as the first of five planned spacewalks got underway. "We're here to give you more power to see the planets, stars and the universe."

A second wing was to be installed today by another team of space shuttle Columbia astronauts. The $19-million set of wings, covered with ultra-efficient solar cells, should boost Hubble's electrical output by more than 20%.

The telescope's old solar wings had become damaged by eight years of wear and tear.

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