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Space Station Empty as Crew Takes a Space Walk


The two crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) stepped outside Monday for a spacewalk to install antennas and release a small satellite.

American Commander Leroy Chiao and his Russian crewmate, Salizhan Sharipov, left the ISS empty for the second time in two months, floating outside the station high above the earth to conduct repairs in a planned six-hour operation.

The Russian Space Agency and its U.S. counterpart, NASA, added safety precautions after a January spacewalk when when Mr. Chiao almost fired thrusters too early due to a miscommunication.

Today's spacewalk is complicated by a depleted stabilization system on the space station. A power failure two weeks ago caused one of three gyroscopes to shut down. Two gyroscopes are the minimum for the spacecraft to maintain balance and pitch.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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