Astronauts get extra moving time at space station

November 20, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In this Nov. 18, 2009 photo released by NASA, the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Atlantis' payload bay are seen as Atlantis and the station approach each other during rendezvous and docking activities on flight day three. A pair of spacewalking astronauts, one of them a surgeon, hustled through antenna and cable work Thursday outside the International Space Station. (AP Photo/NASA)

(AP) -- The astronauts aboard the shuttle-station complex are getting some extra moving time.

Space shuttle Atlantis has been declared free of any worrisome launch damage. That means the crewmen won't need to conduct another detailed inspection of their ship until after they leave the . They will fill the extra time Friday by moving more supplies over to the outpost.

The first of three spacewalks planned for the mission was carried out successfully Thursday. The spacewalkers even got extra work accomplished. Two of the crew will venture back outside Saturday.

Atlantis will remain at the station until the day before Thanksgiving. The shuttle delivered tons of spare parts and experiments.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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