Spacewalking astronauts prep for 2021 arrival of Russian lab

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Two Russian astronauts have stepped out on a spacewalk to prepare for next year's arrival of a long-delayed lab.

The pair floated outside the International Space Station on Wednesday on their first spacewalk.

They went out from an air lock being used for the first time by spacewalkers.

The old Russian compartment used for spacewalks will be removed and junked to make room for Russia's research lab awaiting launch from Kazakhstan.

The spacewalk comes just 1 1/2 days after welcoming a SpaceX crew on board. That brought the number of station residents to seven.

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