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The Associated Press
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In a highly anticipated grand finale to their mission, astronauts opened the shutters on the new observation deck Wednesday and were humbled by "absolutely spectacular" views of Earth from inside the elaborate atrium of windows.
The $27 million lookout opened each of its seven eyes one window at a time as the crews of the station and shuttle Endeavour carried out their third and final spacewalk.
It was the moment everyone had been waiting for: The round central window — the largest ever flown in space — was the first exposed as astronauts inside cranked open the shutter as they sailed 220 miles above the South Pacific.
"As expected, the view through window seven is absolutely spectacular," space station commander Jeffrey Williams said. "When we have the others around it open, it will give us a view of the entire globe. Absolutely incredible."
Mission Control set the night’s mood by beaming up a recording of Jimmy Buffett’s "Window on the World."