Illness Delays Spacewalk to Install Columbus Lab

Crew investigates minor heat shield damage
By John Abell,  Newser User
Posted Feb 10, 2008 8:10 AM CST
In this handout photo from NASA, European Space Agency astronaut Hans Schlegel of Germany is seen during suit-up at the Kennedy Space Station, Fla. Thursday Feb. 7, 2008. Atlantis is scheduled to launch...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Today's planned spacewalk to install the Columbus lab on the International Space Station was pushed back until tomorrow after Atlantis astronaut Hans Schlegel experienced an undisclosed medical problem. The shuttle crew will spend today instead examining a minor tear in their craft's heat shield, and performing such routine chores as transferring food, water, and other supplies to the Space Station, Reuters reports.

The space walk was one of three scheduled for the mission, which NASA has already lengthened by one day, to 12. The crew is trying to conserve enough electricity to make a 13th day possible so they will have more time to configure their main payload: the $1.9 billion laboratory, Europe's contribution to the space station.