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Third Spacewalk a Breeze for Space Station Crew

Third Spacewalk a Breeze for Space Station Crew
Expedition 9 spacewalkers Gennady Padalka and Mike Fincke are pictured shortly after beginning their third spacewalk. (Image credit: NASA TV.)

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) flawlessly completed a spacewalk Tuesday morning, preparing their orbital home for a new cargo ship and retrieving experiments attached to its hull.

ISS Expedition 9 commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Michael Fincke are safely back inside the space station after a 4.5-hour spacewalk that found them consistently ahead of schedule and so eager to work that ground controllers repeatedly urged them to take breaks and enjoys the scenery.

"It's a great view," Fincke said during a rest early in the activity as he watched the sun rise during one of the spacecraft's 90-minute orbit of the planet.

The spacewalk was the third extravehicular activity (EVA) for the Expedition 9 crew and began when Padalka and Fincke opened the outer hatch of the station's Pirs Docking Compartment at 2:58 a.m. EDT (0658 GMT) Tuesday morning. By the spacewalk's end at 7:28 a.m. EDT (1128 GMT), the astronauts had completed all of their EVA tasks.

Preparing for 'Jules Verne'

 

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.