CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Spacewalking astronauts added another parking space on Wednesday to the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan had to deal with multiple cables to install a SpaceX-supplied docking port last month. It will be used by SpaceX and Boeing as soon as they bring astronauts into orbit at the end of the year or the beginning of next year.
This is the station's second docking port for commercial crew capsules. The first one was installed three years ago. The newest port replaces a port that was destroyed during a SpaceX launch accident in 201
It was the third spacewalk for Hague and the first for Morgan, an army doctor who moved into the station a month ago.
"Docs rock" Mission Control radioed Morgan as the spacewalk began. The Houston-based astronaut who communicated with the spacemen – who is also a doctor – added, "Welcome out."
Since retiring its spacecraft in 2011, NASA has been limited to Russian rockets to send astronauts to the space station bring. While commercial shipments in the US have been running smoothly since 2012, crew flights from Cape Canaveral continue to be suspended.
SpaceX launched its first Crew Dragon capsule in March, with no one on board. The capsule was destroyed during a motor test in Florida the following month. Despite the setback SpaceX wants to continue its first test flight with astronauts until the end of the year.
Boeing intends to launch its Starliner capsule in the autumn without crew, followed by a crewed flight in early next year.  ___
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