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Discovery crew docks with ISS to deliver Japanese lab

RIA Novosti

03/06/2008 09:17 WASHINGTON, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. Discovery space shuttle docked with the International Space Station on Monday afternoon, delivering a bus-sized Japanese research lab that will be linked to the orbital station on Tuesday.

NASA said Discovery docked with the Harmony module of the ISS carrying six American astronauts and one Japanese astronaut at 2:03 pm EDT (18:03 GMT), and that the hatches separating the two craft opened at 3:36 p.m. EDT.

Astronauts Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan are scheduled to start a spacewalk at 11:32 a.m. EDT today (15:32 GMT) to prepare for linking the 11.2-meter (36.7-foot) Kibo pressure module to the ISS.

The module will be the largest compartment on the ISS, with space for four astronauts.

The Discovery crew, led by shuttle commander Mark Kelly, includes Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Crewmember Greg Chamitoff has joined the ISS Expedition 17 crew, taking the place of Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman.

The team also delivered parts to fix a malfunctioning Russian toilet on the station.

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