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Astronaut, Cosmonaut Take Six-Hour Spacewalk

.c The Associated Press 

SPACE CENTER, Houston (Sept. 11) - An American astronaut and a Russian 
cosmonaut drifted out of space shuttle Atlantis early Monday, making a 
successful climb up the international space station that was more spacehike 
than spacewalk.

Edward Lu and Yuri Malenchenko made the grueling ascent to lay cable and 
install a boom for a navigation unit on the exterior of the 140-foot station 
during their 6 hour, 14 minute spacewalk. They carried the bundled cables on 
their backs, along with the boom and their tools.

The spacewalkers ventured an astounding 110 feet from Atlantis' cargo bay, 
where the space station had been anchored for the past day. It was the 
farthest distance any NASA spacewalker had ventured while tethered.

''Got a great view back at the nose of the shuttle,'' said Lu, who was on his 
first spacewalk. His partner performed spacewalks while living aboard 
Russia's Mir space station.

The spacewalk official inside Mission Control, Mike Hess, likened the foray 
to working on the 11th story of a 13-story building - with a much better 
view, 230 miles above Earth.

The work went flawlessly, ending 16 minutes ahead of schedule even with the 
addition of a brief task, the manual extension of a docking target that 
didn't deploy properly and was in the astronauts' way. Ordinarily, NASA has 
fast-working spacewalkers tackle chores scheduled for later missions; but Lu 
and Malenchenko did not have to perform any get-ahead tasks.

''There wasn't really anything else to do on space station and won't be, 
really, until the next crew gets up there,'' Hess said.

To get to the top of the towering station, Lu and Malenchenko first took a 
40-foot ride on the shuttle robot arm. Then they ascended hand over hand like 
rock climbers, clipping and unclipping their tethers like climbing ropes as 
they moved up.

It was deliberate travel, slowed by a multitude of obstructions like antennas 
and docking targets. Astronaut Daniel Burbank, watching from inside the 
cockpit, guided Lu and Malenchenko up the stack.

''Watch your head,'' Burbank ordered. ''Don't move right. Bring your legs 
straight up. ... Watch your right foot. Put your feet up.''

The two men needed to scale the Russian service module Zvezda to erect a 6 
1/2-foot boom for a compass and to install nine power, data and television 
cables between it and the other Russian module, Zarya.

Russia installed the compass, which measures Earth's magnetic field, too 
close to Zvezda's metal hull, knocking the instrument's readings off. NASA 
had asked from the start that the compass, called a magnetometer, be equipped 
with an extendable boom, but the Russian space program declined because of a 
lack of money, Hess said.

NASA discovered another small problem on Zvezda on Monday: a jammed solar 
panel on one of its wings. The panel did not unfold following launch of the 
module, and NASA may have to fix the problem on a later visit.

Atlantis linked up with the station as the spacecraft soared above Kazakstan 
on Sunday, ending a two-day chase complicated slightly by a failed navigation 
device aboard the shuttle. Atlantis was going to take advantage of the linkup 
and give the station an orbital boost of about 3 miles Monday.

The seven astronauts and cosmonauts will enter the complex Tuesday to haul in 
thousands of pounds of supplies for the first residents, due in November.

At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, meanwhile, NASA moved space shuttle 
Discovery to the launch pad Monday for an Oct. 5 liftoff on a 
station-assembly mission.

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