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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP)

Astronauts step outside space station for lube job

Two astronauts are out on a spacewalk for an unprecedented cleaning and lube job at the international space station.

Astronauts Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (stef-uh-NIHshun PIE-pur) and Stephen Bowen stepped outside the space station early Tuesday afternoon. It is the first of 4 spacewalks planned for the shuttle Endeavour's visit to the space station.

The astronauts are lugging grease guns, putty knives and oven-like mitts to try to remove metal grit from a gummed-up joint.

For more than a year, the joint has been unable to automatically point solar wings toward the sun for maximum energy production. The repair work will take up much of all four spacewalks.

On the Net:

NASA: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

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