AP Aerospace Writer
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Two spacewalking astronauts are tackling a backlog of outdoor work at the International Space Station.
American Christopher Cassidy and Italian Luca Parmitano ventured out Tuesday morning.
It's the first spacewalk for Italy, a major contributor to the orbiting lab.
The spacewalkers have a hodgepodge of maintenance chores: replacing failed communication equipment, removing a bad camera and collecting science experiments. They also will perform prep work for a new Russian lab due to arrive in December.
A second spacewalk, next Tuesday, will wrap up the job.
NASA says the tasks have been piling up over the past couple of years. Managers wanted to wait until the to-do list was long before committing to the time-consuming spacewalks.