Michael Braukus Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1979) Lori J.

Rachul Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH (Phone: 216/433-8806) Kyle Herring Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (Phone: 713/483-5111) RELEASE: 96-107

May 25, 1996

MIR COOPERATIVE SOLAR ARRAY IS DEPLOYED/ISS POWER HARDWARE BEING BUILT AND TESTED Today cosmonauts on board the Russian Space Station Mir deployed a U.S./Russian solar array that will increase the space station's power capability, extend its lifetime and support Mir-based U.S. experiments. The solar array, known as the Mir Cooperative Solar Array (MCSA), was delivered to Mir during the second Shuttle/Mir docking mission in November 1995 (STS-74). Cosmonauts Yuri Onufrienko and Yuri Usachev, with U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid looking on from inside, during a six hour spacewalk hand-cranked the deployment mechanism that unstacked the new solar array, similar to the stretching of an accordion. In preparation for today's deployment, Onufrienko and Usachev performed an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) on Monday in which they moved the MCSA from the docking module, where it had been stowed since November 1995, to the Kvant-1 module. "The success of this project is attributed to the excellent working relationship built between the U.S/Russian team members. My

participation in the deployment of the solar array at the Russian Control Center in Kaliningrad is something I will value for many years," said Michael Skor, NASA Lewis MCSA project manager. The Mir Cooperative Solar Array has a solar panel surface area of 42 square meters, consisting of 84 panel modules, each of which contains 80 silicon solar cells. -more-2Each cell produces approximately one watt of power when exposed to the Sun. The deployed array will provide six kilowatts of power, helping to boost Mir's energy production facilities and enabling joint U.S./Russian microgravity and life-science research. The MCSA team is structured as an Integrated Product team (IPT) consisting of NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, and Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; Rockwell International's Rocketdyne Division, Canoga Park, CA; Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA; and Rocket Space Corporation-Energia, Kaliningrad. The IPT concept, which is being incorporated throughout the International Space Station program, provides necessary communications, flexibility and endorsement of all team members, and produces flight hardware in less time at a lower cost. The Cooperative Solar Array project followed an aggressive timeline--less than two years from inception to deployment of the jointly produced array. The Russians will send data on the solar array's electrical performance to NASA Lewis for analysis and comparison to computer predictions. This data will help the U.S. predict performance of the International Space Station's solar arrays, which will be based on the same U.S.-made silicon solar cells. Back on Earth, the International Space Station team is making progress building and testing the power producing hardware for Phase 2/3. The solar array panels currently are

undergoing end-to-end qualification tests at Lockheed/Martin in California. Solar cell manufacturing is well under way. The E-wing assembly--the massive solar panel test unit--was completed in April 1996 and was successfully deployed and retracted several times earlier this month. In late summer, the team will begin life cycle testing. The first two flight wings will be completely assembled in November 1996. Lockheed/Martin is building one test unit and two flight units of the Solar Alpha Rotary Joints (SARJ)--massive gimbaling devices that will automatically point the station s electricity-producing solar arrays toward the sun. The SARJ qualification unit currently is being put through stiffness testing. The flight units will be completely assembled by May 1998 and delivered to McDonnell Douglas. EDITOR'S NOTE: Images accompanying this release are available to news media representatives by calling the Headquarters Imaging Branch on 202/358-1900. Photo numbers are: color B&W Pre-flight Solar Array Collapsed 96-HC-323 96-H-323 Pre-flight Solar Array Extended 96-HC-324 96-H-324 -endNASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. NASA releases also are available via CompuServe using the command GO NASA.