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Two US astronauts have been floating outside the International Space Station to begin building parking spots for two commercial space taxis.
Station commander, “Butch” Wilmore, and flight engineer Terry Virts, moved to the outside of the station early this morning for the planned 6.5 hour spacewalk, the first of three outings over the next eight days.
The work will prepare ports to be available for flights by private companies who are developing capsules to transport crew to and from the station, expected to start late next year.
The United States had been dependent on Russia for station crew transportation since the space shuttle were retired in 2011.
The station is a $134 billion laboratory owned by 15 nations.