Astronauts get busy with space station stockpiling

July 11, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
This frame grab from NASA-TV shows space shuttle Atlantis docked at the International Space Station, Sunday, July 10, 2011. Atlantis is delivering more than 4 tons of food, clothes and other space station provisions — an entire year's worth, in fact, to keep the complex going in the looming post-shuttle era. Atlantis' journey marks the final shuttle mission by NASA. (AP Photo/NASA)

(AP) -- The astronauts aboard the orbiting shuttle-station complex will get cracking Monday on all their supply delivery work.

Space shuttle Atlantis has a 21-foot-long canister in its payload bay that's full of food, clothes and other provisions for the . The astronauts will use a to lift the carrier out of the shuttle and attach it to the station. It's enough to keep the outpost going for a full year in the post-shuttle era.

Atlantis is making NASA's final space shuttle flight.

NASA, meanwhile, expects to have a better idea Monday as to whether the joined spacecraft will need to dodge a piece of space junk. The piece of orbiting debris may come too close Tuesday. The size of the object is not known.

Explore further: Space shuttle undocks from space station

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