Astronauts Finish Space Station Spacewalk

HOUSTON, April 9 (UPI) — U.S. astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson completed a 6 1/2-hour spacewalk Friday repressurizing the International Space Station’s primary airlock.

Two days after docking with the space station in low Earth orbit, the space shuttle Discovery astronauts also released a 1,700-pound ammonia coolant tank in Discovery’s cargo bay that will be moved to the space station and installed a rate gyro assembly to help determine the lab’s orientation in space, NASA said.


They also carried out several “get-ahead” tasks to save time for future spacewalkers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.

This was the first of three spacewalks for the astronauts, who lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with five other crew members Monday on a mission to resupply the space station.

Three shuttle flights remain as the space agency completes the international laboratory before retiring the shuttle orbiters this year after 134 launches.

The shuttle was originally scheduled to undock from the space station April 16 and land back at the Kennedy Space Center two days later, but NASA Friday extended the mission one day so the astronauts can inspect the shuttle for micrometeoroid damage.

The landing is now set for April 19.

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