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NASA tries to fix pin problem

SPACEWALKING astronauts accidentally inserted a pin upside down and jammed an equipment storage platform at the International Space Station on Saturday, prompting NASA to assemble a special team to try to resolve the problem.

NASA immediately put together a team of experts to determine whether there's any way the crew can pry or hammer the pin loose during a spacewalk planned for today ?? the third and final of shuttle Discovery's mission.

The lead spacewalk officer in Mission Control, Glenda Laws-Brown, said that since there is no up or down in space, astronaut Joseph Acaba apparently installed the clamp-like pin upside down - "180 degrees out from where it should have been."

"Even with it being installed in the opposite location, he just drew a card of bad luck ... if it had been rotated just a little bit more or maybe a little bit less, it might have cleared just fine," she told reporters on Saturday night.

"Some days you're lucky, and some days you're less lucky."

The equipment storage platform ended up being partially deployed on the space station's framework.

To keep it from flapping around, astronaut Steven Swanson tied the platform down with tethers before heading inside.

The shuttle will depart the space station on Wednesday, eight days after arriving, and return to Earth on Saturday.


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