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Astronauts finish more station work

Spacewalking astronauts performed more repair work on a jammed joint at the International Space Station on Thursday, keeping a tight grip on all their tools so nothing would get away this time.

A $100,000 tool bag was lost during the first spacewalk of the mission two days ago.

To everyone’s relief, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Shane Kimbrough deftly stepped through their work without any mishaps. They had double- and triple-checked their equipment before venturing out to make certain everything was tied down.

As they packed up their tools to go back inside, Stefanyshyn-Piper said, “Hopefully, I won’t lose anything on the way.”

She didn’t. Mission Control and astronauts inside the space station complimented the astronauts on the spacewalk, which lasted 6 hours, 45 minutes.

McLean, Va.

Contractor accused of shooting Afghan

A defense contractor who once provided personal security for Afghanistan’s president was charged with shooting a handcuffed Afghan civilian after hearing the man had inflicted serious burns on a fellow contractor, prosecutors said.

Don M. Ayala, 46, of New Orleans was charged with second-degree murder in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday that Ayala is in Afghanistan awaiting transfer to Virginia.

It is the first case in which federal prosecutors have brought murder charges against a military contractor serving in Iraq or Afghanistan under the 2000 law that allows such prosecutions, according to the Justice Department.

From wire reports


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