Shuttle Atlantis

SPACE STATION ALPHA (AP) -- The new visitors to the international space station have unloaded the package they brought with them.

They transferred from the shuttle Atlantis to the space station today the first big addition to the station in more than three and a-half years.

Astronauts will be conducting three spacewalks to install the new piece.

It weighs 17 and a-half tons, and consists of a truss and solar panels that generate power, and that rotate with the movement of the sun.

The robot arm on the shuttle Atlantis was used to hand over the 45-foot-long addition, which was received by the space station's own robotic arm.

Earlier, the hatch between the two spacecraft was opened, after Atlantis was eased into the station's docking port.

Tomorrow, two astronauts are scheduled to make a spacewalk to connect the wiring on the new addition. It has to be done fairly quickly, so the electronic components don't get cold.