This is the context:

Tyson: allow me to announce that this day is the 25th anniversary of Kathy Sullivan deploying the Hubble Space Telescope in space.

Kathryn Sullivan: actually, I did not get to pull the trigger that released it. Steve Hawley did that. And Bruce McCandless and I were locked in the airlock where we had almost had to race outside to crank open the solar array that hung up for a while.

source: 2015 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Water, Water

What is the meaning of "crank open" in this context? and additionally, is "hung up" means "stop working"?


A crank is a a device to increase torque to rotate something. An example is the crank between a bicycle pedal and the gear. From that comes the verb "to crank," i.e., to turn the handle of a crank.


The reason that Sullivan had to manually crank the array was, as you state, it had stopped working, or "hung up".

  • So, it means "fixing the solar array with turning the handle of a crank"? Jan 30 '20 at 15:58
  • Well, opening it with the crank. Jan 30 '20 at 22:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .