2008-02-17 - ISS Module ColumbusEuropean Columbus module now in use at ISS

Europäisches Raumlabor aktiviert<br /> 2008-02-17 - Astronauts Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel completed the second of STS-122's three scheduled spacewalks at 4:12 p.m. EST Wednesday.

The excursion lasted six hours and 45 minutes. The spacewalkers completed the removal of an expended Nitrogen Tank Assembly (NTA) and the installation of a new one on the P1 truss. The tank is part of the orbital outpost's cooling system. With the help of the station's robotic arm, the spacewalkers moved the new NTA from its position in space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay. They temporarily stowed it on a Crew and Equipment Translation Aid cart while they removed the expended tank. With the new NTA installed, the old tank was transferred to the orbiter's payload bay for return to Earth. Because they finished their primary tasks early, the spacewalkers were able to install thermal covers on the trunnion pins on the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory. They also inspected and adjusted the U.S. Destiny laboratory's orbital debris shields.
Astronauts took their work inside the European Space Agency's new Columbus laboratory. Station Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, both European Space Agency astronauts, opened the hatches to the new Columbus laboratory at 8:08 a.m. CST. "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," Eyharts said. The crew remained ahead of schedule throughout the activation of Columbus, working inside to bring computers, ventilation and cooling systems online. While integrating the cooling system into that of the station's, temperature fluctuations caused the system to partially shutdown as a precaution. The system was brought back up and connected without incident later. With the activation of the new lab, the Columbus Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, began supporting mission operations.
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 on February 11. 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.

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