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Astronauts Prepare for Space Station Spacewalk


Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are preparing for a Monday spacewalk, with a list of tasks that includes fixing an improperly installed cargo platform attachment.

Flight directors repositioned the space station and the visiting space shuttle Discovery on Sunday, to avoid a piece of space debris that was expected to come too close during Monday's spacewalk. The debris, about 10 centimeters in diameter, is part of a spent Chinese rocket.

The U.S. space agency, NASA, says the spacewalking astronauts will return to the cargo platform attachment where they worked Saturday, to try to fix a locking pin that they inadvertently installed upside down.

The primary mission of the Discovery crew was accomplished Thursday when astronauts installed the station's last set of solar panel wings.

Inside the space station Sunday, astronauts worked to troubleshoot a new water recovery system that is intended to create drinkable water from urine and condensation. Problems developed during a test of the system.

NASA wants to have the water recycler working before expanding the space station's live-aboard crew from three to six members.

The shuttle Discovery is scheduled to return to Earth on Saturday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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