In October 2007, the International Space Station (ISS) crew noticed a vibrating camera in the vicinity of Starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ). It had less than 5 months of run time when the anomaly was observed. This 3.2 m-diameter bearing joint supports solar arrays that power the station critical to its operation. The crew performed an EVA to identify what was causing the vibration. It was discovered that one of the 3 bearing tracks of this unconventional bearing had significant spalling damage. This paper discussed the SARJ’s unique bearing design and the vulnerability in its design leading to the observed anomaly. The design of an SARJ vacuum test rig was also described along with the results of a life test that validated the proposed repair should extend the life of the SARJ a minimum of 18 years on-orbit.
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