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>Astronauts Walk In Space

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Astronauts open up new billion-dollar lab

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer 1 hour, 37 minutes ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astronauts opened up Japan’s new billion-dollar space station lab, then got ready for another spacewalk, this time to spruce up the outside of the huge addition.

Crewmen Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr. were headed back outside Thursday for the second time in three days. Their ohttp://www.our-picks.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/international-space-station.jpg

International Space Stationbjective: to set up TV cameras on the Kibo lab and remove covers from its robot arm, and do some advance work for a nitrogen-gas tank replacement scheduled for their third and final spacewalk this weekend.

The door to Kibo — Japanese for hope — was swung open Wednesday, a day after its installation at the international space station.

It was a momentous occasion for Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, who hung a banner over the threshold and led the procession inside.

Hoshide noted that Kibo was empty, for now, but quoted an engineer back on Earth who told him, “It looks really empty but it’s full of dreams.”

“Enjoy your new module,” radioed Japanese Mission Control near Tokyo.

The 10 inhabitants of the linked shuttle Discovery and space station took advantage of all the empty space inside the bus-size lab and twirled, performed back flips and bounced on the walls. Then they started hauling in racks for science experiments.Click the link for the complete AP story.<a href=" “>

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