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Spacewalk helps tackle power woes

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Associated Press / December 19, 2007

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Spacewalking astronauts helped pinpoint the source of a flawed mechanism in the international space station's power system yesterday, but they unearthed few clues involving an even bigger problem with a fouled rotating joint for the solar wings.

On the ground, meanwhile, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration repeated fuel gauge failures in the shuttle Atlantis's external tank during a daylong test, and moved closer to finding the culprit. The erratic gauges, part of a critical safety system, forced back-to-back launch delays this month and pushed Atlantis's station trip into January.

As NASA pumped hydrogen fuel into Atlantis, astronauts Peggy Whitson and Daniel Tani inspected two crippled components in the space station's solar power-generating system. The unrelated problems may delay future flights.

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