Astronauts complete final shuttle space-walk at ISS


Astronauts Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff on their space-walk

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The last space-walk in the 30-year history of the US shuttle programme has been completed at the International Space Station.

Astronauts Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff's seven-and-a-half-hour walk completed Nasa's part in constructing the ISS.

The astronauts will return to Earth in a few days on space shuttle Endeavour's last voyage.

One final shuttle is scheduled for July to bring supplies to the ISS.

The BBC's Tom Burridge in Washington says the ISS is now the size of a football field and can house six full-time residents who spend their time conducting scientific experiments and research conditions for possible longer missions, such as travelling to Mars.

Astronaut Chamitoff said before ending the 164th and last shuttle space-walk: "Twelve years of building and 15 countries and now it's the Parthenon in the sky and hopefully the doorstep to our future. So congratulations everybody on assembly complete."

As he attached the final 50ft (15m) boom, he said: "Amazing. Boy, this is a big space station."

Endeavour is scheduled to return to Earth on Wednesday.

It will then be prepared for public display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Russia still plans to carry out space-walks at the ISS, adding at least one more chamber to the structure. Those in the station will also carry out walks as necessary.

Russia will also ferry astronauts to the ISS.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    I was 9yrs old looking at the moon when Neil Armstrong announced "The Eagle Has Landed". That day led me to work with NASA and now we have a space station and rovers on Mars. I'm so incredibly proud to have designed some of the technology. Space exploration in its truest sense is upon us now thanks to companies like SpaceX and I would gladly give up everything I have just to be part of it. JOY.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    Deceptively spacious des res that requires continued maintenance. Comes with own satellite dish. Green credentials impeccable with recycling facilities and solar power as standard. Would suit DIY enthusiast who is also an astronaut. Much sought after location that though delightfully secluded and out of this world is only moments away from every shop imaginable. However return journey problematic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    If this helps to unite nations in creative activities and redirects attention away from divisions by wars and conflicts around the world, then it's worthwhile. Remember those optimistic moments for mankind when J. Kennedy inspired millions with a vision to share the outward looking concept of Space. It made a contribution.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Where next for space exploration? The space shuttle program was never about space exploration it was purely a commercial and military enterprise nothing more. If we were serious about space exploration we would have build a permanent moon base from which to launch deep space exploration missions and we would have had man set foot on Mars and possibly orbit Jupiter or its moons by now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    A great achievement and a great story. It hasn't taken too long for the world to start concentrating its focus again! The Space Station will pave a way for new research, new territories, and will be a huge asset to our world. I wonder one day whether they will need secretaries up there? Well done. x


Comments 5 of 6


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