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Last Spacewalk Of The Shuttle Era Complete

CAPE CANAVERAL (CBS4) – Two astronauts from the International Space Station have completed the last spacewalk of NASA's space shuttle era. Astronauts Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr. completed a six-hour, 31-minute spacewalk at 3:53 p.m.

It was the 249th spacewalk by U.S. astronauts, the seventh for Fossum and the fourth for Garan. The two spacewalkers ventured out Tuesday morning to retrieve a broken ammonia pump outside the International Space Station.

They stowed the pump aboard the docked shuttle Atlantis, so it can be returned to Earth for evaluation. The two also installed a robotic refueling experiment on the 245-mile-high outpost.

Only four astronauts are flying aboard Atlantis. It's the smallest crew in decades — too small, in fact, to have had time to train for this spacewalk. That's why the job was handed over to the space station crew.

Monday, The International Space Station got a year's worth of groceries in a giant shopping cart, courtesy of the astronauts on NASA's final shuttle flight. Astronauts Sandra Magnus and Douglas Hurley used the space station's hulking robot arm to hoist the bus-size container out of Atlantis' payload bay and attach it to the orbiting outpost. The canister -- 21 feet long and 15 feet across -- is jammed with nearly 5 tons of household goods, enough to keep the ISS and its inhabitants going for another year. Food alone accounted for more than 1 ton.

The 13-day flight by Atlantis is the last for NASA's 30-year shuttle program.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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