Recovered Astronaut Steps Up for Spacewalk

Illness over, German astronaut readies for spacewalk
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 4:00 AM CST
This image from NASA Television shows the European Space Agency's Columbus module, at lower right, attached to the International Space Station, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. The module was lifted from the payload...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A German astronaut who was too sick for a scheduled spacewalk earlier this week is feeling much better, and preparing for his first step into the great outdoors today, reports "I'm doing very fine," Hans Schlegel, 56, said via videolink from the International Space Station. Schlegel said it was disappointing to have to stay inside NASA's Atlantis orbiter while his colleagues were installing the Columbus lab in the station.

The astronaut, who declined to reveal the nature of his illness, will help replace an empty nitrogen tank during the rescheduled spacewalk. Yesterday marked the halfway point in the 12-day mission to install the lab and deliver a French astronaut to join the 16-member crew aboard the station. "The view of Earth is the most incredible experience, and we get to do it for 12 days," said astronaut Stephen Frick.