German Astronaut Allowed on Spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL — Two spacewalking astronauts supplied the international space station with a fresh tank of nitrogen Wednesday, one of them a German who was too sick to venture outside a few days earlier.

Looking and sounding fit, Hans Schlegel joined Rex Walheim in removing a depleted nitrogen tank from the space station and installing a full one weighing 550 pounds. The high-pressure nitrogen gas is needed to flush ammonia through the station’s cooling lines.

When the new tank was powered up, Mission Control radioed the news along with congratulations for the spacewalkers’ “great work.”

Schlegel, 56, was supposed to go out on the first spacewalk of the mission to help hook up Europe‘s space station lab, Columbus, which was ferried up by Atlantis. But he became ill after reaching orbit last week.

Court Dismisses Secret Flight Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that accused a unit of Boeing of helping to fly terrorism suspects abroad to secret prisons because “the very subject matter of the case is a state secret.” “At the core of plaintiffs’ case . . . are ‘allegations’ of covert U.S. military or CIA operations in foreign countries against foreign nationals — clearly a subject matter which is a state secret,” Judge James Ware wrote in his ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union‘s lawsuit accused Jeppesen Dataplan of providing flight and logistical support to the U.S. government on 70 “extraordinary-rendition” flights.

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