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Friday, February 15, 2008 - 4 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
02.15.08
 
STATUS REPORT : STS-122-16
 
 
STS-122 MCC Status Report #16
 
 
HOUSTON – The seven-member crew of space shuttle Atlantis is just one spacewalk away from finishing the installation of the new Columbus research module and its exterior experiment facilities.

The crew’s day started at 2:45 a.m. Their wake up call from the Mission Control Center featured Drafi Deutscher’s song “Marmor Stein und Eisen Bricht.” The song’s title translates as “Marble Breaks and Iron Bends.” It was played for Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany.

The mission’s third spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:40 a.m. At that time, the space station’s robotic arm will transfer the first of two external experiment facilities – an observatory used to monitor the sun, called SOLAR – to the Columbus module for installation. That task should take Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love about three hours.

On its way back to the shuttle’s cargo bay to retrieve the second experiment facility to be installed, the robotic arm will pick up a failed control moment gyroscope that was replaced in August and take it back to Atlantis to be returned to Earth.

After dropping that gyroscope off, the robotic arm will pick up the European Technology Exposure Facility – or EuTEF, a facility that will allow scientists to expose experiments to space. Love and Walheim are scheduled to spend about an hour and 45 minutes on that task, which should begin around 11:50 a.m.

If there’s any time left in the 6 hour and 25 minute-long spacewalk, the astronauts will inspect a damaged handrail on the Quest Airlock that may be the source of recent spacesuit glove cuts and take another look at the station’s right Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, which began experiencing problems last fall. The spacewalk is scheduled to end at 2:05 p.m.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued this evening or earlier if events warrant.
 

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