Astronauts Deliver Space Lab

Columbus is transferred after 8-hour spacewalk
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2008 8:10 PM CST
In this image from NASA Television International Space Station commander Peggy Whitson, center, and Atlantis commanger Steve Frick, far right, prepare astronaut Rex Walheim, center rear, for a spacewalk,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two astronauts endured a long spacewalk today to deliver the Columbus lab to the International Space Station, the Houston Chronicle reports. Rex Walheim and Stan Love struggled with heater cables, but guided the 15-ton lab while a station astronaut moved it with a robot arm. The 8-hour walk was the first of three scheduled this week to attach the lab to its orbital outpost.

"Welcome to spacewalking, buddy," Walheim told Love, the stand-in for a German astronaut who fell ill this weekend. "It's awesome," Love said.  Love and Walheim also prepped a nitrogen tank for replacement, and spotted a 2-millimeter ding on the station's exterior. The $2.1 billion research lab is Europe's contribution to the space station.