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Science Briefing

Space station spreads its wings

March 21, 2009|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Astronauts unfurled the newly installed solar wings at the International Space Station on Friday, a nerve-racking procedure that brought the orbiting outpost to full power.

To NASA's relief, both wings went out smoothly, one at a time. Nothing hung up, and none of the panels stuck together like they had on previous panels. The wings stretch more than 240 feet and are the final pair of electricity-generating wings that should boost science research at the station. The work was a highlight of shuttle Discovery's mission.

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