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Russian, U.S. astronauts complete work in ISS docking bay

RIA Novosti

11:4610/06/2009 MISSION CONTROL CENTER (Moscow Region), June 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russian International Space Station commander Gennady Padalka and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt have installed a docking cone in Zvezda module's depressurized docking bay, Russia's Mission Control said on Wednesday.

The astronauts spent around 40 minutes removing a flat cover from the docking bay on Russia's Zvezda module and replacing it with a docking cone for the MIM-2 small research module, which will be delivered on board the next Progress cargo spacecraft in November.

Last Friday, Padalka and Barratt, wearing Orlan-MK computerized spacesuits, installed three antennas for the Kurs auto-docking system as part of the MIM-2 preparations.

In addition to Padalka and Barratt and Japan's Koichi Wakata, the current 20th Expedition comprises flight engineer Frank De Winne from the European Space Agency, Robert Thirsk from the Canadian Space Agency and Russia's Roman Romanenko.

The six-member crew will receive and unload three Russian Progress craft and a Japanese HTV-1 space freighter, conduct two spacewalks and carry out a series of scientific experiments.

The head of Russia's Federal Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov, earlier described the mission as unique, saying that "representatives of five countries - Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and Belgium - will for the first time work at the station simultaneously."

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