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Astronauts tackle chore backlog on spacewalk

2:55 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - Two spacewalking astronauts are tackling a backlog of outdoor work at the International Space Station.

American Christopher Cassidy and Italian Luca Parmitano ventured out Tuesday morning.

It's the first spacewalk for Italy, a major contributor to the orbiting lab.

The spacewalkers have a hodgepodge of maintenance chores: replacing failed communication equipment, removing a bad camera and collecting science experiments. They also will perform prep work for a new Russian lab due to arrive in December.

A second spacewalk, next Tuesday, will wrap up the job.

NASA says the tasks have been piling up over the past couple of years. Managers wanted to wait until the to-do list was long before committing to the time-consuming spacewalks.

MARCIA DUNNAP, Aerospace Writer

The Associated Press

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