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Endeavour astronauts wrap up third spacewalk

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Endeavour at ISS. A NASA photo

WASHINGTON (AFP): Two US astronauts have wrapped up their third spacewalk outside the International Space Station after some doing maintenance work on the Russian side of the orbiting lab, NASA said.

Astronauts Drew Feustel and Mike Fincke floated back into the space station airlock and ended their six hour, 54 minute spacewalk at 8:37 am Wednesday (12:37 GMT), NASA said.

The spacewalk – the third of four scheduled during the Endeavour shuttle's final mission – was aimed at completing an external wireless antenna system and mending parts of the Russian side of the space station.

"They completed all planned tasks, installing cables to increase redundancy for the power system on the Russian segment of the station, completing the external wireless antenna system work Feustel and Greg Chamitoff began during the first spacewalk, and installing a power and data grapple fixture to Zarya," NASA said.

"The fixture will allow the station's robotic arm to 'walk' to the Russian segment, extending its reach by using that grapple fixture as a base."

A final spacewalk by Endeavour astronauts outside the orbiting research station is set for Friday.

The Endeavour mission, STS-134, is the second to last for the American shuttle programme. After Atlantis's planned launch in July, the three-decade US programme will end and the shuttles will become museum pieces.

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Endeavour  ISS  Spacewalk  
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