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International Space Station gets 'front porch'

Spacewalkers install a platform that will expose experiments to the cold vacuum of space.

July 19, 2009|Reuters

HOUSTON — Spacewalking astronauts secured a "front porch" Saturday to the International Space Station that will expose scientific experiments to the cold vacuum of outer space.

Lead spacewalker David Wolf and rookie astronaut Timothy Kopra spent about 5 1/2 hours outside the station preparing the Japanese-built platform to be attached to the front of the station's $2.4-billion Kibo laboratory.

Then, using a robotic arm, astronauts gingerly drove the 4-ton platform to "hard dock" with the Kibo lab.

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