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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The 12 orbiting astronauts took care of a little maintenance work aboard the International Space Station on Thursday and gave it a boost before enjoying a well deserved break.
With the major objectives of their joint mission behind them, the station and shuttle crews couldn't wait to gather around the big bay window to take in the majestic views of Earth. Mission Control gave them the afternoon off, a day after the second and final spacewalk of Discovery's final journey.
Astronaut Alvin Drew, one of the spacewalkers, said when he first floated out earlier in the week, "I had to keep reminding myself that I had a job to do and not just take in this gorgeous scenery around me."
"You are part of the scene. You've gone through the looking glass," he said in a series of TV interviews.
Astronaut Nicole Stott said she and her crewmates have talked a lot about Discovery's final voyage. NASA's oldest shuttle will be retired once it returns to Earth next week and be sent to a museum.
Endeavour will make its farewell flight in April, and Atlantis will close out NASA's 30-year shuttle program this summer.
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