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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mir Cosmonauts Replace Broken Lock

Russian cosmonauts aboard Mir replaced a broken lock on the space station's exit hatch Friday to eliminate the risk of jamming during five spacewalks scheduled for April, Itar-Tass reported.

During several hours of work on the hatch, cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin also opened and closed the remaining 19 locks to check them, Itar-Tass reported.

They installed a new 20th lock, replacing one that broke several months ago. "We have to be confident that the hatch will open without difficulties,'' deputy flight control chief Viktor Blagov was quoted as saying at mission control.

The cosmonauts are to perform repair work on the outside of the aging station during the five spacewalks.

During the first walk, scheduled for April 1, the cosmonauts are to carry out work originally planned for March 3 when they had to abandon a planned spacewalk after breaking three wrenches on the hatch.