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Friday, 8 December, 2000, 15:44 GMT
Rendezvous in space
Astronauts from Endeavour meet the ISS crew
Brent Jett (in red) shakes hands with the ISS crew
Astronauts from the space shuttle Endeavour are visiting the crew of the International Space Station (ISS).

The hatch has been opened to allow the two crews to spend some time together before the shuttle heads back to Earth.

Endeavour crew commander Brent Jett and his four colleagues entered the Unity module of the ISS and exchanged handshakes and smiles with the Expedition One crew.

Brent Jett said: "Endeavour arriving!" and entered the module, after requesting permission to open the hatch.

The meeting took place 383 kilometres (238 miles) above the Pacific Ocean, near Cape Horn, South America.

3rd spacewalk
Critical repairs have been carried out
The astronauts and cosmonauts will spend no more than a day together. Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the ISS, and start its journey back to Earth, on Saturday.

US astronaut William Shepherd and Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalov have been in space for 36 days of their expected four month stay aboard the ISS.

Although the shuttle has been docked at the space complex since Saturday, the hatches have been sealed for safety reasons while work took place outside.

'Magnificent'

The Endeavour crew finished installing the space platform's new solar wings on Thursday.

Two astronauts carried out a tricky repair to the right solar wing in their third and final spacewalk.

Using just a hook and their gloved hands, Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega tightened two slack cables.

The new ISS solar wings are the largest, most powerful and most expensive ever built for a spacecraft
17 tonnes
73 metres across
Cost $600m
Enough power for 30 homes on Earth
One of the five brightest objects in night sky
The repair was needed to prevent damage to the blanket of solar cells coating the wing, during shuttle dockings and undockings.

"The whole crew was magnificent," said Nasa administrator Daniel Goldin in a congratulatory call to Endeavour's five astronauts.

Destiny

The two spacewalkers also installed a camera cable and a static-electricity monitor to the outside of the ISS. The monitor will be used to gain a better understanding of how to protect spacewalking astronauts from electric shocks.

Carlos Noriega
Astronaut Carlos Noriega
Officials said the astronauts have now completed a number of tasks that needed to be carried out before the next mission to the ISS.

The space complex now has enough power to light all the modules, including the space laboratory Destiny which will be added in January.

While work was going on outside the ISS, the platform's Expedition 1 crew had tasks of their own.

Commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev had to deal with a malfunctioning air conditioner and a broken carbon dioxide removal unit.

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See also:

02 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Endeavour docks with ISS
04 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Night sky gets 'new star'
01 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Shuttle Endeavour blasts off
18 Nov 00 | Sci/Tech
Fresh supplies for space station
02 Nov 00 | Sci/Tech
Crew enters historic home
25 Oct 00 | Sci/Tech
Shuttle lands in California
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