Still elated from their successful work outside, Discovery's astronauts swung open the hatches of the international space station tonight and floated into the chilly but brightly lit outpost.

They were the first visitors in six months.

Before the seven shuttle astronauts began opening the doors, flight controllers warned that it would be 57 degrees in the first module, the American-made Unity.

"You might want to bring a sweater," Mission Control advised.

They had to pass through six hatches to get all the way in, a drawn-out affair that took more than an hour because of the need to equalize the pressure in the various compartments. Mission Control helped by turning on the lights ahead of them as American Tamara Jernigan and Russian Valery Tokarev led the way.

The astronauts will spend the next three days making repairs and deliveries to the 240-mile-high station. During an eight-hour spacewalk that began late Saturday, Jernigan and Daniel Barry lugged 700 pounds of gear from the shuttle to the station. A pair of five-foot cranes took up most of the load.

CAPTION: During an eight-hour spacewalk, the second-longest ever, shuttle astronauts Tamara Jernigan, left, and Daniel Barry lugged 700 pounds of gear to the space station.