Science/Tech
11:13 am
Wed June 10, 2009

Space station astronauts 'space walk' in airlock

MOSCOW – Two international space station crewmen have squeezed into an airlock aboard the station to move a docking mechanism.

American Michael Barratt and Russian Gennady Padalka entered the transfer compartment in the station's Russian-made Zvezda service module on Wednesday for a job expected to take less than 40 minutes.

The operation is considered a space walk because the astronauts have to wear space suits.

It started 10 minutes behind schedule because of initial problems with the airlock pressure, which didn't fall as fast as expected.

Padalka and Barratt were moving a docking cone from one hatch to another. That will allow a Russian research module to dock later this year.