Monday, February 11, 2008

Astronauts Complete First Spacewalk

STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love successfully completed the mission’s first spacewalk, the primary goal of which was to prepare the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory for installation on the International Space Station. The 7-hour, 58-minute excursion concluded at 5:11 p.m. EST. Walheim and Love performed several tasks to prepare Columbus for attachment to the station, which included installing the Power Data Grapple Fixture on Columbus. This allowed Mission Specialists Leland Melvin and Daniel Tani, along with Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, to use the station’s robotic arm to grab the laboratory module. The spacewalkers completed some work to prepare for the removal of the Nitrogen Tank Assembly (NTA), a part of the station’s thermal control system, from the P1 truss. Removal of this assembly, as well as installation of a new one, will be performed during STS-122’s next spacewalk. The NTA will be replaced because its nitrogen is running low. Walheim and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel also will continue to prepare the Columbus laboratory when they perform STS-122’s second spacewalk at 9:35 a.m. Wednesday. - Source: NASA

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