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Updated: April 8, 2010 12:55 IST

Astronauts hoist cargo carrier onto space station

AP
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This NASA image shows a front-on, 800mm view of the top part of Discovery's cabin as a shuttle crew member waves. The shuttle was in the midst of a back-flip, performed to enable the station's cameras to survey it for possible damage. Photo: AP
AP
This NASA image shows a front-on, 800mm view of the top part of Discovery's cabin as a shuttle crew member waves. The shuttle was in the midst of a back-flip, performed to enable the station's cameras to survey it for possible damage. Photo: AP

The International Space Station has a new walk-in closet.

Space shuttle Discovery’s astronauts lifted the 13-ton cargo carrier from the payload bay late Wednesday and attached it to the space station early Thursday. About half of that mass represents science experiments and supplies, as well as a new bedroom and freezer. NASA says the sleeping compartment may be turned into a powder room, where space station residents can take sponge baths and clean up.

The Italian-built cargo carrier - named Leonardo after Signor da Vinci - will return to Earth filled with trash and old equipment. Then it will be refitted and flown back up in September as a permanent storage unit for the space station. That will be the last shuttle flight.

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