the beleaguered Russian space station Mir received a shot in the arm when two cosmonauts made a space walk of six hours and 17 minutes to install a new solar panel outside the station's scientific module Kvant on November 6. The new panel would double the power supply on the station. Solar panels soak up light from the Sun to provide power. Anatoli Solovyov, the flight commander, and Pavel Vinogradov, an engineer, also worked on an air purification system and tried to mend a leaking hatch.
David Wolf of the us National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( nasa ) was backing up his colleagues inside Mir during their space walk. The solar panel had been delivered two years ago by the us space shuttle Atlantis but had been hanging packed outside Mir after it failed to unfold at first. The cosmonauts had to open them manually. Mir has been plagued by a series of problems after it collided with a cargo vessel on June 25. The next space walk will be on December 5, when Solovyov and Wolf will replace several us scientific devices placed outside Mir.
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