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Spacewalking astronauts release mini-satellite

August 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The U.S. space shuttle program may be grounded, but the work goes on at the International Space Station. Two spacewalking astronauts released a ham radio satellite outside the International Space Station on Wednesday.

The satellite was released despite missing an antenna, which will hamper operations. The transmitting capability will not be affected by the loss of one antenna, but the receiving of signals from the ground will be degraded.

If they hadn't released it, they would have had to wait until the next spacewalk, which is set for early next year.

Russian Sergei Volkov and his spacewalking partner, Alexander Samokutyaev, ran out of time before they could accomplish the major task of moving a Russian cargo crane from one part of the space station to another.

Four other men are aboard the space station: two Americans, one Japanese and one other Russian.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.