February 2008
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STS-122: Columbus Installed

After a marathon spacewalk today, astronauts from Atlantis and Expedition 16 anchored the new Columbus module to the Space StationNASA reports:

STS-122 Completes First Spacewalk, Installs Columbus

The Columbus laboratory
Image above: A video camera on the International Space Station captured this image of the newly installed Columbus laboratory with space shuttle Atlantis in the background. Photo credit: NASA TV

STS-122 and Expedition 16 crew members worked together Monday to attach the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station’s Harmony module.

During STS-122’s first spacewalk, Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love bolted the Power and Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) to the Columbus module. The PDGF provided a grapple point for the station’s robotic arm. The spacewalkers installed power cables on Columbus and reinstalled the debris shields they had removed earlier.

STS-122 Mission Specialists Leland Melvin and Daniel Tani, along with Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, used the orbital outpost’s robotic arm to guide Columbus into position for final installation. Columbus was officially attached to the right side of the Harmony module at 4:44 p.m. EST.

Meanwhile, the spacewalkers completed some work to prepare for the replacement of the Nitrogen Tank Assembly (NTA), part of the station’s thermal control system, on the P1 truss.

The 7-hour, 58-minute excursion concluded at 5:11 p.m.

Walheim and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel will complete the replacement of the NTA and install trunnion covers on Columbus during STS-122’s second spacewalk, slated to begin Wednesday at 9:35 a.m.

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Flight Day 4 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #9 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.