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 Space.com. "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.