CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Discovery performed a slow back flip and then docked at the International Space Station yesterday, delivering a huge lab and two new occupants: a NASA astronaut and Buzz Lightyear.
Commander Mark Kelly pulled up to the space station and parked as the two spacecraft soared 210 miles above the South Pacific.
Discovery carried Japan's prized Kibo lab, a 37-foot-long, 16-ton scientific workshop. The seven shuttle astronauts and three station residents will combine forces to install the bus-size lab today.
The shuttle crew also brought a spare toilet pump for the orbiting outpost. The space station's Russian-built toilet broke nearly two weeks ago - forcing the crew to perform manual flushes with extra water several times a day.
Gregory Chamitoff got his first look at what will be his home for the next six months. He is replacing Garrett Reisman, who has been living at the station since March.
"Garrett, you have a beautiful house," Chamitoff said.
The two hugged once the hatches between them swung open. It was a group embrace, with the space station's two Russian residents joining in.
Also moving in for a half-year is a 12-inch action figure familiar to children: Buzz Lightyear, from the 1995 film
always yearning to blast off "to infinity and beyond." Disney sent up the toy as part of NASA's toys-in-space educational program.
See more at NASA's Web site via