Space shuttle Atlantis docked with the international space station Monday, arriving with the first addition to the orbiting space lab in more than 3 1/2 years.
Atlantis commander Brent Jett eased the space shuttle into the space station's docking port where latches automatically fastened the two spacecraft together at 6:48 a.m. EDT (1248 GMT). The nearly two-day trip from Earth ended about 220 miles (350 kilometers) above the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean, the AP says.
Pravda.Ru reported before that space shuttle Atlantis carried one of the heaviest payloads ever launched into space a 17 1/2 ton truss section that will be added to the half-built space station. It includes two solar arrays that will produce electricity for the orbiting outpost. Atlantis' weight was so much that it only had a crew of six, instead of the usual seven astronauts. The astronauts will make three spacewalks during the 11-day flight to install the $372 million (292.61 million euros) addition.
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