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First STS-122 Spacewalk Has Begun

Image Above: Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stan Love work with the Columbus laboratory during the first spacewalk of the STS-122 mission. Image credit: NASA TV

The first of three scheduled STS-122 spacewalks is under way. The spacewalkers are preparing European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory for installation on the International Space Station.

The Expedition 16 crew welcomed the space shuttle Atlantis crew to the space station for the first time after the hatches between the station and space shuttle Atlantis opened at 1:40 p.m. EST Saturday.

Atlantis docked with the station at 12:17 p.m., bringing with it the newest station research module – the Columbus laboratory. Also traveling with STS-122 is a new Expedition 16 crew member, European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts, who replaced Flight Engineer Daniel Tani.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Image Above: Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stan Love work with the Columbus laboratory during the first spacewalk of the STS-122 mission. Image credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station grew Monday when STS-122 and Expedition 16 crew members used the station’s robotic arm to attach the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the Harmony module. Robot arm operators completed the installation at 4:44 p.m. EST.

At 5:11 p.m., STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love completed a 7-hour, 58-minute spacewalk, during which they installed the Power Data Grapple Fixture on Columbus in preparation for the module’s connection to the station.

Walheim and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel will continue preparing Columbus for its work during STS-122’s second spacewalk, slated to take place Wednesday at 9:35 a.m.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Image above: European astronaut and station flight engineer Leopold Eyharts photographs the inside of the new Columbus laboratory. In the foreground is European astronaut and mission specialist Hans Schlegel. Photo credit: NASA TV

European astronaut and station flight engineer Leopold Eyharts got a look inside the new Columbus laboratory around 9 a.m. EST. Official ingress is scheduled to occur at 2:55 p.m after preliminary outfitting of the new lab.

Supplies and equipment will be transferred into the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory. Three of the laboratory module’s five payload racks also are scheduled for relocation today. Expedition 16 crew members Leopold Eyharts and Peggy Whitson will be the first to enter Columbus.

Later in the day, STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel will camp out in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for Wednesday’s spacewalk, scheduled for 9:35 a.m. EST.

On Monday, astronauts used the station’s robotic arm to connect Columbus to the orbital outpost and Walheim and Mission Specialist Stanley Love conducted the first of three scheduled STS-122 spacewalks. Among other tasks, the spacewalkers prepared the new module for its installation.
 

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Image above: Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson (left), Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts (center) and Mission Specialist Dan Tani work inside the new Columbus laboratory. Photo credit: NASA TV

Station flight engineer Leopold Eyharts and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, both European Space Agency astronauts, opened the hatches to the new Columbus laboratory at 9:08 a.m. EST.

Just prior to hatch opening, Eyharts remarked, "This is a great moment and Hans and I are very proud to be here and to ingress for the first time the Columbus module."

Because the crew members decided to press ahead on outfitting tasks for Columbus, the official ingress planned for 2:55 p.m. did not occur.

The STS-122 and International Space Station crews continue to work to set up and activate the laboratory – the newest component of the station – which was attached to the station Monday.

At 4:35 p.m., STS-122 crew members will conduct live media interviews on NASA TV.

Later in the day, STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel will camp out in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for Wednesday’s spacewalk, scheduled for 9:35 a.m. EST.

On Monday, astronauts used the station’s robotic arm to connect Columbus to the orbital outpost and Walheim and Mission Specialist Stanley Love conducted the first of three scheduled STS-122 spacewalks. Among other tasks, the spacewalkers prepared the new module for its installation.
 

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Station Gets New Scientific Capabilities


Image above: The European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory (bottom right) is attached to the International Space Station's Harmony Node. Photo credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station grew Monday when STS-122 and Expedition 16 crew members used the station’s robotic arm to attach the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the Harmony module. Robot arm operators completed the installation Monday at 4:44 p.m. EST.

At 5:11 p.m., STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love completed a 7-hour, 58-minute spacewalk, during which they installed the Power Data Grapple Fixture on Columbus in preparation for the module’s connection to the station.

Walheim and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel will continue preparing Columbus for its work during STS-122’s second spacewalk, slated to take place Wednesday at 9:35 a.m.
 

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Station Nitrogen Tank Replaced


Image above: Astronaut Rex Walheim participates in the second spacewalk of the STS-122 mission. Photo credit: NASA TV

STS-122 Astronauts Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel completed the removal of an expended Nitrogen Tank Assembly (NTA) and the installation of a new one on the International Space Station’s P1 truss during the second spacewalk of the mission Wednesday. The tank is part of the orbital outpost’s cooling system.

The station grew Monday when STS-122 and Expedition 16 crew members used the station’s robotic arm to attach the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the Harmony module. Robot arm operators completed the installation Monday at 4:44 p.m. EST.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Spacewalkers to Install Columbus Experiments


Image above: Expedition 16 and STS-122 crew members review spacewalk procedures during a meeting aboard the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA TV

STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love are slated to exit the International Space Station’s Quest airlock and begin the third spacewalk of the mission at 8:40 a.m. EST Friday.

During the spacewalk, Walheim and Love will install two payloads on Columbus’ exterior: SOLAR, an observatory to monitor the sun; and the European Technology Exposure Facility that will carry nine experiments requiring exposure to the space environment.

The STS-122 and Expedition 16 crews also will spend time outfitting racks and systems inside the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory, preparing the module for the scientific work ahead of it.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Spacewalkers to Install Columbus Experiments


Image above: A spacewalker attached to the station's robotic arm works outside the Columbus module on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA TV

STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love exited the International Space Station’s Quest airlock and began the third spacewalk of the mission at 8:07 a.m. EST Friday.

During the spacewalk, Walheim and Love are installing two payloads on Columbus’ exterior: SOLAR, an observatory to monitor the sun; and the European Technology Exposure Facility that will carry nine experiments requiring exposure to the space environment.

The STS-122 and Expedition 16 crews also are spending time outfitting racks and systems inside the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory, preparing the module for the scientific work ahead of it.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Station Gets Reboost


Image above: A spacewalker attached to the station's robotic arm works outside the Columbus module on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA TV

The STS-122 and Expedition 16 crews are busy today transferring supplies and equipment into the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory.

This morning, the International Space Station got a reboost, a routine procedure to adjust its orbit. The purpose of the reboost was to place the orbital outpost in better position to receive future visitors, including the Expedition 17 crew, who are slated to arrive in April.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Crews Continue Outfitting Columbus


Image above: View of the International Space Station from the space shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA

The STS-122 and Expedition 16 crews spent time Saturday transferring supplies and equipment into the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory.

Saturday morning, the International Space Station got a reboost, a routine procedure to adjust its orbit. The purpose of the reboost was to place the orbital outpost in better position to receive future visitors, including the Expedition 17 crew, who are slated to arrive in April.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Expedition 16 Bids Atlantis Crew Farewell


Image above: View of the International Space Station from the space shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA

Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 4:24 a.m. EST today, ending its almost-nine-day stay at the orbital outpost.

STS-122 delivered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the station. The crew members conducted three spacewalks to prepare Columbus for its scientific work, and they replaced an expended nitrogen tank on the station’s P1 truss.

In addition, Atlantis delivered a new station crew member, Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, an ESA astronaut. He replaced astronaut Daniel Tani, who is returning to Earth aboard Atlantis.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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This has to be one of the best ISS pics I have ever seen

Expedition 16 Bids Atlantis Crew Farewell


Image above: View of the International Space Station from the space shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA

Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 4:24 a.m. EST Monday, ending its almost-nine-day stay at the orbital outpost.

STS-122 delivered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the station. The crew members conducted three spacewalks to prepare Columbus for its scientific work, and they replaced an expended nitrogen tank on the station’s P1 truss.

In addition, Atlantis delivered a new station crew member, Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, an ESA astronaut. He replaced astronaut Daniel Tani, who is returning to Earth aboard Atlantis.
 

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Crew Watches Atlantis Landing


Image above: View of the International Space Station from the space shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA

The Expedition 16 crew enjoyed a light-duty day aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday.

After daily space station inspections and crew meetings, Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Leopold Eyharts continued to unpack supplies and equipment delivered by the STS-122 crew aboard space shuttle Atlantis.

The crew took a break from their activities to watch the landing of space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-122 crew via a live video uplink. Atlantis and its crew landed at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on Wednesday at 9:07 am EST.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Science Takes Root Aboard Station


Image above: Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson works inside the Destiny Laboratory. Photo credit: NASA TV

Soaring high above the Earth, the Expedition 16 crew was busy with science and maintenance aboard the International Space Station Thursday.

In addition to regular station upkeep, the crew worked to set up a variety of experiments focusing on the effects on plant growth of the zero gravity environment of space. These included an experiment studying the formation of roots in weightlessness.

Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, the crew’s newest member, spent time familiarizing himself with his new home aboard the orbital outpost. He took a break from his work to talk via ham radio with students at the Robespierre School in Rueil-Malmaison, France.

The crew members completed their daily physical exercise routines to counteract the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness in space.

For the latest news and information on the STS-122 mission, visit the main shuttle page.
 

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Science and Maintenance Continues Aboard Station


Image above: Backdropped by the blackness of space, the International Space Station is seen from space shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA

After a busy week that consisted of the outfitting of the Columbus module and the departure of space shuttle Atlantis, the Expedition 16 crew carried on with science and maintenance aboard the International Space Station on Friday.

Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts continued initial scientific investigations with the Biolab facility in the Columbus module.

Maintenance on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly in the Destiny Laboratory was performed by Commander Peggy Whitson.

The crew also upgraded the navigational software in Russian laptop computers in advance of the launch of the "Jules Verne" Automated Transfer Vehicle scheduled for March 7.

Additionally, routine body mass measurements were taken by the crew members after completing their daily physical exercise routines to counteract the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness in space.
 

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AMAZING PICTURE

Station Crew Begins New Week of Science


Image above: Paris, France is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 16 crew member on the International Space Station. Prominent is the characteristic "A" profile of the Eiffel Tower highlighted by morning sunlight. Photo credit: NASA

Systems aboard the International Space Station continue to perform well as the Expedition 16 crew kicked off a new week of science research and station maintenance.

The crew began Monday collecting blood samples for an ongoing study of human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight. The results of this experiment will aid in the definition of nutritional requirements and development of food systems for future space exploration missions to the moon and Mars.

Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko continued unloading and inventorying supplies that arrived aboard the ISS Progress 28 spacecraft on Feb. 7. Progress 28 delivered nearly 5,200 pounds of cargo to the orbital outpost.

Commander Peggy Whitson worked with the Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2 (InSPACE-2) experiment. InSPACE looks at fluids that change properties in response to magnetic fields and collects data that can be used to develop or improve brake systems and robotics.

The newest Expedition crew member, Flight Engineer Léopold Eyharts, took a break from working with the station's Biological Experiment Laboratory to talk with students at Collège Reydellet in Saint-Denis, Ile de la Réunion.
 

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Crew Stays on Track with Science, Station Maintenance


Image above: Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson checks the progress of plants growing in the Russian Lada greenhouse in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA

The Expedition 16 crew aboard the International Space Station worked Tuesday on science experiments and station maintenance.

Commander Peggy Whitson performed monthly maintenance on the station’s treadmill with vibration isolation system. This treadmill is one of several devices available to the expedition crew for daily exercise to counteract the effects of long-duration spaceflight.

After performing routine maintenance on the Elektron oxygen generator, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko relocated the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) control panel. The first ATV, named Jules Verne, is set to launch to the station from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 in early March. The ATV docks automatically with the station, though station crew members can take charge of the process if difficulties arise.

Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts continued collecting samples for an ongoing study of human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight. He also participated in interviews with three French television networks.
 

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REBOOST

Station Reboost Early Thursday


Image above: Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson talks to reporters in her home state of Iowa on Wednesday. Photo credit: NASA TV

As ground support personnel prepared to boost the International Space Station to a higher altitude, the crew aboard the orbital outpost worked with science experiments and reviewed emergency procedures Wednesday.

After completing the morning’s activities and taking a lunch break, the Expedition 16 crew reviewed emergency procedures for the station’s newest addition, the Columbus module. This is a standard procedure for any new module.

Later, Commander Peggy Whitson spoke with reporters in her home state of Iowa.

Engines on the station’s Zvezda service module will fire Thursday at 12:16 a.m. EST for about two minutes, providing a further refinement to the 36-minute burn conducted during docked operations with space shuttle Atlantis on the recent STS-122 mission. This will complete the altitude adjustment needed to optimize rendezvous opportunities with space shuttle Endeavour, scheduled to launch March 11 for STS-123.

The reboost also places the station in the correct phasing for the launch of the Expedition 17 crew on the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft on April 8 and the landing of the Expedition 16 crew on the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on April 19.
 
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