Archive for Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shuttle docks at space station, unloads parts

November 19, 2009

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— Space shuttle Atlantis arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday for a weeklong stay, and the astronauts quickly unloaded a huge platform full of spare parts needed to keep the outpost running for another decade.

The platform — 16 feet by 14 feet — contained pumps, storage tanks and other equipment weighing hundreds of pounds each. Robot arms did the heavy lifting, just hours after the two craft came together 220 miles above the Pacific, between Australia and Tasmania.

Astronaut Nicole Stott, a space station resident for the past 2 1/2 months, was thrilled to see her ride home. She spotted Atlantis from three miles out.

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