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Woman sets new spacewalking record

And another lined up for Thursday

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Sunita Williams has taken the women's world record for the most time spacewalking, after completing a seven hour excursion outside the International Space Station (ISS).

The jaunt took Williams' total time spent in vacuum to 22 hours and 27 minutes. The previous record was 21 hours, held by Kathy Thornton.

Williams has been on three spacewalks since December and is scheduled to go on a record fourth later this week. She was on the spacewalk with Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, who was taking his eighth stroll outside the airlock.

The two astronauts were working to finish connecting cooling loops from a temporary to a permanent system, NASA says. The pair started work on disconnecting the old cooling system during the two previous spacewalks. This time, they were also rerouting cooling fluid, and helping retract a radiator that had been used as part of the temporary cooling system.

Williams and Lopez-Alegria now have to recharge their suits' batteries to prepare for their next scheduled spacewalk, this Thursday. NASA has never attempted so many spacewalks in so short a period of time without the Shuttle on hand to help. ®

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