Astronauts complete three-day cable job outside the space station

In this image from NASA television astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, left, and Terry Virts during their second spacewalk outside the International Space Station Wednesday Feb. 25, 2015. Wednesday's spacewalk is the second in five days for Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts. In all, three spacewalks are planned in just over a week to prepare the orbiting lab for future American crew capsules. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Two astronauts have completed a three-day cable job outside the International Space Station.

Americans Terry Virts and Butch Wilmore installed two sets of antennas and 400 feet of cable today in their third spacewalk in just over a week. They unreeled another 364 feet of cable in their two previous outings.

The advance work was needed to prepare for a manned spacecraft under development by Boeing and SpaceX.

NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX nearly $7 billion to develop spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts to the space station. The first manned flight is targeted for 2017. New docking ports will fly up later this year.

Virts and Wilmore’s first spacewalk was Feb. 21. Their second was Wednesday. NASA hasn’t conducted such a quick succession of spacewalks since its former shuttle days.

 

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