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Mission Control did its best to cheer up the spacewalkers as they re-entered the space station. “You guys are rock stars, just so you know,” Mission Control said.

It was the second spacewalk in less than two weeks. On Aug. 20, two Russians worked outside the orbiting complex, installing shields to protect against micrometeorite strikes.

It’s no longer common for astronauts to step into the vacuum of space. That’s because after almost 14 years, the space station is virtually complete. Plus NASA’s shuttles are retired and now museum pieces.

Williams is the lone woman at the space station. She and Hoshide arrived a month ago, launching from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian rocket.

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Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html