Astronauts hit snag with new space station room

Astronauts have run into trouble while setting up the International Space Station’s newest room.

A cover that’s supposed to go between Tranquility and its observation deck does not fit. Metal bars are not locking down properly because of interference from a hand rail or some other metal piece on the hatch.

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Flight director Bob Dempsey said early Saturday that engineers are trying to figure what to do next. The cover is needed to protect the seals and docking mechanisms on Tranquility from the cold. This docking port will be exposed when the domed lookout is moved to its permanent location. That move may be put on hold, for a while.

The astronauts aboard the shuttle-station complex opened the door to Tranquility late Friday.

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