Monday, February 11, 2008 - 6:30 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON – After an almost eight-hour spacewalk by astronauts Stanley Love and Rex Walheim, the Columbus module officially became a part of the International Space Station.
"The European Columbus module is now part of the ISS," Expedition 16 astronaut Leopold Eyharts radioed to Mission Control in Houston at 3:44 p.m. CST.
Mission Specialists Love and Walheim worked during the day to install a grapple fixture on Columbus while it rested inside the shuttle’s payload bay. They also worked to prepare electrical and data connections on the module. Once this work was complete, astronauts Leland Melvin, Dan Tani and Eyharts operated the space station’s robotic arm to grab on to Columbus, lift it out of the orbiter and begin the 42-minute journey to its final attachment onto the starboard side of the station.
As Columbus was moving into place, Walheim and Love began work to replace a large nitrogen tank used for pressurizing the station's ammonia cooling system. This work will be completed during the second EVA, which will take place on Wednesday.
Columbus is the cornerstone of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station. With this addition, the station is now 57 percent complete in terms of mass.
The crew will wake at 3:45 a.m. tomorrow and will spend the day completing the initialization of Columbus, once all leak checks are complete.
The next STS-122 status report will be issued Tuesday morning or earlier if events warrant.
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