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Astronauts enter new module for first time

STS-120 and Expedition 16 crew members gather in the new Harmony module to talk to the press.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 27, 2007
Astronauts entered a newly delivered International Space Station module for the first time Saturday as their colleagues prepared for a second spacewalk of the mission.

Italian Paolo Nespoli and space station commander Peggy Whitson of the United States opened the hatches to the Harmony module at 8:24 am (1224 GMT) Saturday and began preparing it for future work.

"For today, the biggest activity is to get the ventilation set up," Rick LaBrode, the Discovery mission manager, told reporters.

The bus-size module was attached to the station during the first spacewalk of the Discovery mission Friday. It will eventually connect together two Japanese and European scientific laboratories to be delivered to the ISS in the coming months.

"Everything is going great," LaBrode pointed out Saturday, assessing the mission. "We'll continue pressing on. Tomorrow is a great day."

Sunday's spacewalk that will be conducted by US astronauts Scott Parazynski and Daniel Tani will be used to begin moving to a new location a truss that supports a set of the station's key solar panels.

This reconfiguration is necessary to prepare the ISS for the arrival of the new laboratories, experts said.

ParazynskiandTaniwillstart their walk with disconntecting cables from the truss. Then, astronauts will use the spacestation'sroboticarmtomovethe truss toanovernightparkingposition.

Its installation in a new location will be completed during subsequent walks.

The Sunday spacewalkers will also completeexternaloutfittingofHarmonyandreplacearemotecircuitbreaker.

To prepare for the walk that is expected to begin at about 6:00 am (1000 GMT), ParazynskiandTaniwill camp out overnight in the station's airlock, NASA officials said.

During Discovery's two-week mission to the ISS, the astronauts are scheduled to perform a record five spacewalks, lasting a total of 30 hours.

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Discovery Docks With Space Station; Spacewalk Set For Friday
Houston TX (SPX) Oct 26, 2007
Space Shuttle Discovery and the STS-120 crew arrived at the International Space Station at 8:40 a.m.Thursday, delivering a new module and crew member to the orbital outpost. After the hatches between the station and shuttle opened at 10:39 a.m., the two crews exchanged greetings and went to work preparing for almost nine days of joint operations. STS-120 and Expedition 16 crew members transferred to the station spacesuits and tools that will be used during STS-120's spacewalks. The first of five excursions planned for the mission will begin at 6:28 a.m. Friday.

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