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Space station astronauts perform spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Two space station astronauts took care of a little outside maintenance yesterday.

Russian flight engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin replaced a main valve on the International Space Station and prepared for the arrival of a new lab later this year.

"To save the time, I'm embroidering," one of the spacewalkers said in Russian, holding a clump of cord as he worked. "It's not easy to handle all these ropes."

Later, he added, "OK, now we're doing beadwork."

Besides the valve swap 250 miles up, the spacewalkers installed clamps and retrieved science experiments, completing most all their chores.

The spacewalk ran a little over at 6 1/2 hours.

"Thank you for your work," radioed Russian Mission Control outside Moscow.

It was the year's third spacewalk. The four other space station residents monitored the action from inside.

The crew includes three Russians, two Americans and one Italian.

The Italian and one American will conduct a pair of spacewalks for NASA in July.

-- AP

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