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Astronauts on board Endeavour begin spacewalks

By Jane Fazackarley     Jul 18, 2009 in Science
Astronauts today started the first spacewalk of five which are set to be carried out by members of crew on board Endeavour. The shuttle featured heavily in the news recently after it's launch was delayed a number of times.
Two American astronauts, Dave Wolf and Tim Kopra are getting a Japanese space lab ready for the installation of one last piece which is an external platform.
Endeavour finally landed on Friday and 13 astronauts are now aboard the International Space Station. This is a record for the most people on the station at any one time.
The platform weighs 1.9 tonnes and will be attached to the Kibo space lab.
The astronauts will use robotic arms to place a section on to the lab. The task requires two space walkers to undertake the work.
This section will be the third to be added to the Kibo lab and the two astronauts are likely to spend more than six hours fitting what's known as the "porch in space".
After the initial spacewalk more are due be undertaken with walks set to be carried out every two days during the eleven day duration of the mission. Cameras and other specialist equipment are also set to be added.
The new equipment will let it be possible for experiments to be carried out to see the effects that the space environment can have.
Julie Payette, who was on board the shuttle joined another Canadian, Robert Thirsk on the space station and she greeted him with a hug. The pair of them are set for a press conference Sunday night which be broadcast by a video link.
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