Astronauts Take a Day Off

Space Shuttle Discovery astronauts are getting some rest before the mission’s third space walk early tomorrow morning. As Rod Rice reports, today is also an anniversary for the space program.

Two astronauts, Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson, will venture outside of the International Space Station early Tuesday for the third and final spacewalk of the fourteen day mission. 

They’ll stow an old ammonia tank in the Shuttle’s payload bay and remove and replace a couple of shields that help protect against space debris. 

Astronauts are technically off-duty today and are helping NASA celebrate a big day in the agency’s history.  It’s been 29 years since the first shuttle launch. Columbia blasted off on this day in 1981.

Today also marks the first person in space. Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin headed into space in 1961.

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