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Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 4:45 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-122 MCC Status Report #14
HOUSTON – After a busy day of spacewalking on Wednesday, the space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station crews have a light day ahead of them, with off-duty time, interviews and preparations for Friday.

The shuttle crew woke up at 2:45 a.m. to “Consider Yourself at Home.” The song, which is from the musical “Oliver!”, was played for Mission Specialist Stanley Love.

The first major event of the day will begin at 8:55 a.m., when shuttle Commander Steve Frick, Mission Specialists Hans Schlegel and Daniel Tani, station Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Leopold Eyharts speak with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Schlegel, a European Space Agency astronaut, is from Germany.

Tani, Whitson and Malenchenko will then speak with reporters from NBC News, WOI-TV and WBBM radio at 10:10 a.m. WOI-TV is in Des Moines, Iowa, capital of Whitson’s home state. WBBM will be calling from Chicago, near Tani’s hometown of Lombard, Ill.

Before the day is over, the crews will also go over the plan for the mission’s third and final spacewalk. Love and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim will be installing experiment platforms on the outside of the new Columbus laboratory and storing a failed control moment gyroscope in the shuttle’s cargo bay. They will also take a closer look at some damage to a handrail on the Quest Airlock that may be the cause of cuts to spacesuit gloves on recent missions.

Part of today’s preparations will involve building a tool that will be used in the inspection. Astronauts will wrap an overglove around a socket, then run the tool over the damaged handrail to see if there are any edges sharp enough to cut the material.

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

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