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February 15, 2008

Final spacewalk of Atlantis mission concludes

Posted: 05:36 PM ET

Spacewalkers Rex Walheim and Stan Love are back inside after wrapping up the third and final spacewalk of the STS-122 mission. They successfully installed two experiment packages to the exterior of the new Columbus laboratory, and transferred a gyroscope that failed last year from a stowage rack to Atlantis' cargo bay for return to Earth. Stan Love must be jazzed that he got to do two spacewalks on this mission. He was only scheduled to do the one today, but of course got an extra trip out of the hatch for EVA 1 when Hans Schlegel fell ill.

Astronauts will spend tomorrow and the first part of Sunday outfitting Columbus to get the experiment racks and work stations up and running, and also competing all the supplies and equipment transfers between shuttle and station. Later Sunday, the Atlantis crew will get in the shuttle and close the hatches, preparing to undock from the station early on Monday.

If all goes as planned, they'll land at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday at 9:06am.

Also, if you enjoy following shuttle missions you won't have long to wait for the next one. The shuttle Endeavour is set to roll out to launch pad 39A at KSC on Monday morning, first motion expected just after midnight. The 3.4 mile trip generally takes about 6 – 8 hours. Launch is targeted for March 11.

- Kate Tobin, Senior Producer, CNN Science & Technology

Filed under: NASA • Space

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