Astronauts give space station extra compartment

The 20-foot compartment stuffed with supplies was added on between spacewalks

Published May 18, 2010 12:52PM (EDT)

The International Space Station has a big, new closet.

The visiting Atlantis astronauts used a pair of robot arms Tuesday to install a Russian compartment to the space station. The 20-foot chamber is stuffed with more than 3,000 pounds of supplies.

The Russian Space Agency launched a similar compartment aboard an unmanned rocket last November. This was the first time NASA delivered a Russian compartment to the space station.

The module, named Rassvet or Dawn in Russian, will be used for storage and science work and will also serve as a docking port.

Tuesday morning's construction work was squeezed between spacewalks. On Wednesday, a pair of shuttle astronauts will float back out to replace space station batteries.

By Marcia Dunn

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