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Space Shuttle Astronauts Enjoy First Day Off In 11 Days

The astronauts in orbit, all 13 of them, are enjoying their first day off in more than a week after a series of grueling spacewalks.

Mission Control told the combined crews of the international space station and shuttle Endeavour to enjoy some well-deserved time off Saturday. Mission Control told the astronauts "you can't stop to smell the roses" at orbital speed. "But you can savor the view from the best seats in the house."

The astronauts wrapped up their fourth spacewalk Friday, completing critical battery changes at the space station. One more spacewalk is planned for Monday to perform some more station work.

Endeavour and its crew of seven will leave the space station Tuesday and return to Earth at the end of the week. The shuttle blasted into orbit July 15.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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