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STS-122: First EVA Monday

Flight Day 4 was spent prepping for tomorrow's spacewalk, the first of three scheduled for this mission. ESA's Hans Schlegel was originally scheduled for the first EVA today (with Rex Walheim), but a reported medical issue forced the spacewalk back to tomorrow, with backup Stan Love heading outside with Walheim.

Schlegel will likely do EVA #2 on Wednesday, as plannedNASA reports:

Spacewalkers Get Ready for Monday’s Excursion

Astronaut Rex Walheim. NASA PHOTO NO: S122e006376
Image: Astronaut Rex Walheim, STS-122 mission specialist, does not have a shortage of windows from which to view Earth's horizon or steal a glance into space from his position on the aft end of Space Shuttle Atlantis' crew cabin. Photo credit: NASA

The space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station crews spent Sunday preparing for the first of three scheduled STS-122 spacewalks. The outing is scheduled to begin at 9:35 a.m. EST Monday.

Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love will “camp out” in the station’s Quest airlock Sunday evening. The purpose of the “camp out” is to purge nitrogen from their bodies to prepare for the spacewalk.

During the spacewalk, Walheim and Love will perform tasks to prepare the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory for installation on the station. Included in these tasks is installing the Power Data Grapple Fixture on Columbus, which will allow the station’s robotic arm to grab the laboratory module and move it from space shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay to the space station’s Harmony module.

In addition, the spacewalkers will detach nitrogen lines and otherwise begin work to remove the Nitrogen Tank Assembly, a part of the station’s thermal control system, from the P1 truss. The assembly needs to be replaced because the nitrogen is running low.

Love replaced Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel on this spacewalk after it was delayed one day. Schlegel and Pilot Alan Poindexter will coordinate the spacewalk activities from inside the orbiting complex.

Focused inspections of Atlantis’ heat shield also were performed. Mission managers took a closer look at a small tear in the thermal blanket on the shuttle’s right Orbital Maneuvering System pod.

STS-122 was extended one day with a landing planned for the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 19.

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Flight Day 3 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #7 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.