Space Station Gets Observation Deck
Astronauts complete mission, attach glass dome
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2010 5:36 AM CST
This Feb. 13, 2010 file image taken from video shows astronauts Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick during their spacewalk as they work outside the International Space Station.   (AP Photo/NASA, File)
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(Newser) – After a long night spent struggling with bolts and wiring, astronauts have attached a new observation deck complete with glass lookout dome to the International Space Station. Two of the astronauts used a giant robotic arm to move the observation deck—which is expected to provide unprecedented 360-degree views of Earth and outer space—into position on Tranquility, the new room that was hauled up to the space station by the shuttle Endeavour.


Astronauts are eagerly awaiting their first glimpses through the windows of the glass dome, which will have its shutters opened during the mission's final spacewalk tomorrow. "The cupola, I think, is really one of the most spectacular viewing platforms that we will have had in space," the flight director told AP.