It's a day of farewells for 2 space crews

July 28, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In this image from NASA TV Astronaut Tom Marshburn is seen during a spacewalk on the international space station, Monday, July 27, 2009. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

(AP) -- They've spent the past one-and-a-half weeks together in space, and now it's time for two teams of astronauts to say goodbye.

The hatches between the linked and will be sealed late Tuesday morning. Then early in the afternoon, Endeavour will pull away and its seven astronauts will begin preparing for a landing on Friday.

Among those headed home is Japanese spaceman Koichi Wakata, who's been in orbit since March. astronaut Timothy Kopra replaced him aboard the space station.

The Endeavour crew is leaving after delivering and installing a new porch and experiments for Japan's lab, and giving the space station some fresh batteries. The orbiting outpost is now 83 percent complete.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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