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Russian crew conducts spacewalk to activate new module

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A File Photo of the International Space Station (ISS).

MOSCOW (AP): Two Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station conducted a spacewalk on Thursday to activate a new module and make it ready for docking with Russian spacecraft.

Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov left the station at 1:05 PM Moscow time (1005 GMT) on a mission that is expected to last nearly six hours.

Lyndin said the two cosmonauts will work on the Russian Poisk module to link it to the station's communications and power systems and prepare it for future dockings with the Russian spacecraft. The research module was launched in November.

The spacewalk was the third one for Kotov, who made two spacewalks in 2007, totaling more than 11 hours, and the first for Suraev.

Americans Jeff Williams & Timothy J Creamer and Soichi Noguchi of Japan are supporting the mission from inside the space station.

Suraev and Williams, the station's commander, will be the first to use the new docking port when they relocate their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from another docking port on the station next week.

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