Space station crew greets Discovery astronauts

August 31, 2009 5:24:59 AM PDT
For the second time ever, it's a party of 13 in space. [FULL COVERAGE: NASA and space shuttle coverage]
[WATCH: ABC13's 'Moon, Mars and Beyond' primetime special]

The astronauts cheered as the hatches between the international space station and Discovery swung open, allowing the two crews to greet each other with hugs and handshakes.

The meeting came after Mission Control congratulated commander Rick Sturckow (STUR'-koh) on a "fantastic job" of docking the shuttle. The rendezvous was a little tricky because small thrusters were shut down after they started leaking. Sturckow had to rely on the more powerful thrusters for the job.

Discovery and its crew of seven are dropping off thousands of pounds of equipment, including a treadmill named for Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert. The treadmill was launched in more than 100 pieces and won't be assembled until Discovery is long gone.

Discovery will spend more than a week at the orbiting complex, where astronauts will perform three spacewalks.

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