Two astronauts set up a new room on the international space station today, the AP reports. Their relatively quick, successful work was greeted with smiles from Mission Control: The room has to be functional before NASA can send up its next shuttle, currently scheduled for a Dec. 6 launch, which will bring a European laboratory that docks to it.
The astronauts connected wires and cables providing heat and fluid to the school-bus-sized room, called Harmony, over several hours of difficult manual labor. One task involved carrying a 300-pound, 18-foot tray of fluid line from the station to Harmony. But the astronauts cracked jokes throughout. "She's the king of the world!" said spaceman Daniel Tani of his co-worker. "Queen," she corrected.