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Astronauts Open Shutters on Space Station's New Observation Deck

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Astronauts are taking in
"absolutely spectacular" views of Earth as they crank open
shutters inside the International Space Station's new $27 million
observation deck.

Astronauts began opening the window shutters of the domed
lookout early Wednesday. The central round window is the largest
ever flown in space. It was exposed first, and station commander
Jeffrey Williams said the view is "absolutely spectacular."

The astronauts closed the shutter a few minutes later to test
the mechanisms, and opened another as the shuttle-station complex sailed over the South Pacific.

The highly anticipated unveiling occurred during the third and
final spacewalk of Endeavour's mission.

The observation deck is part of a new room at the space station
named Tranquility.


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