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STS-122: Flight Day 9

Friday will see the third EVA of Atlantis' mission to the ISS. NASA reports:

STS-122 Astronauts Prepare for Third Spacewalk

Crew members prepare for spacewalk Image above: STS-122 crew members in the Quest airlock prepare for today's spacewalk. Photo credit: NASA TV

Astronauts Rex Walheim and Stanley Love are getting ready to perform the third STS-122 spacewalk, which begins this morning. The spacewalk is slated to last 6.5 hours.

In this final scheduled spacewalk of the mission, Walheim and Love will install two payloads on the exterior of the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory. The first, SOLAR, is an observatory that will monitor the sun for two years. The second is the European Technology Exposure Facility, which will carry nine experiments requiring exposure to the space environment.

The spacewalkers also will put handrails and worksite interfaces on Columbus.

In addition, Walheim and Love’s tasks include moving a failed control moment gyroscope from its storage location on the station to space shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay for return to Earth.

Atlantis and the STS-122 crew are scheduled to leave the space station on Monday, with undocking slated for 4:26 a.m. EST that day.

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Flight Day 8 videos are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #16 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.