BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Friday March 20 2009 07:35 GMT

Space walk fixes new solar panels

Astronauts on solar spacewalk

New solar panels will soon be giving the International Space Station a power boost after astronauts completed the first of three space walks to fit them.

Astronauts Steve Swanson and Richard Arnold spent about six hours outside the space station, guiding its last set of solar wings into place.

Space agency Nasa hopes the extra power means it will be able to double the number of crew at the ISS to six.

Experts reckon the new panels may also make the ISS easier to see from Earth.

Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off
Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off from Florida on Monday
If you look in the right place in sky just after the sun sets the ISS looks like a bright star, moving fast. The new panel will make it appear even brighter.

The space shuttle Discovery blasted into space for its latest 14-day mission on Monday.

It was originally supposed to launch in February, but Nasa decided to delay the mission after discovering a mechanical problem.