Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Astronauts finish wiring new room on space station


A pair of spacewalking astronauts finished wiring the international space station's newest room, crossing the last major task off their to-do list before the next shuttle mission early next month.

Commander Peggy Whitson and Daniel Tani on Saturday hooked up more electrical and fluid connections linking the station and the Harmony compartment that was delivered by the shuttle Discovery last month.

Harmony will serve as a docking port for a new European laboratory named Columbus. The shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to deliver the lab in two weeks. A Japanese lab set to be delivered early next year also will dock to the school bus-sized module.

Flight controllers on the ground were checking all of Harmony's systems on Saturday to make sure the module would be ready for the new lab.

The space station's three residents have been working almost nonstop since Discovery's departure on Nov. 5, and just last week moved Harmony to its permanent location. This is their third spacewalk and the last planned before Atlantis arrives.

Atlantis is scheduled to blast off on Dec. 6.

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