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Archive for Saturday, February 16, 2008

Astronauts spacewalk last time before re-entry

February 16, 2008

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— Two spacewalking astronauts hung science experiments on the outside of the space station's new lab Friday and packed up a broken gyroscope for next week's shuttle ride home.

It was the third and final spacewalk for Atlantis' astronauts, who arrived at the international space station nearly a week ago.

Rex Walheim and Stanley Love attached a package of sun-gazing instruments to the European Columbus lab as well as a huge box containing eight experiments to detect micrometeorite strikes and measure space radiation, among other things.

As they hooked up the solar experiments, French astronaut Leopold Eyharts informed them that the linked shuttle-station was just about to pass over Europe after sailing across the Atlantic.

"Just to let you know that you are finishing the installation of the first European payload on Columbus while we are arriving over Europe in the opposite direction of Christopher Columbus," Eyharts radioed from inside.

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