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Fri, Feb 15, 2008

Third And Final STS-122 Spacewalk Completed

Orbiter Will Undock From ISS Monday Morning

Astronauts Rex Walheim and Stanley Love completed the third and last STS-122 spacewalk at 1532 EST Friday.

During the seven hour, 25-minute excursion, Walheim and Love installed two payloads on the exterior of the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory. The first, SOLAR, is an observatory that will monitor the sun for two years. The second is the European Technology Exposure Facility, which will carry nine experiments requiring exposure to the space environment.

With Mission Specialist Leland Melvin driving the space station's robotic arm, Love carried each of the experiment packages from space shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay to Columbus where the spacewalkers installed them.

In addition, Walheim and Love -- with the help of the station’s robot arm -- moved a failed control moment gyroscope from its storage location on the station to the shuttle’s payload bay for return to Earth. The spacewalkers examined a small divot on a handrail near the Quest airlock to collect data on whether it could be a possible source for glove damage on recent spacewalks. They also installed handrails on Columbus.

Pilot Alan Poindexter guided the spacewalkers from inside the orbiting complex.

Atlantis and the STS-122 crew are scheduled to leave the space station on Monday, with undocking slated for 0426 EST that day. The orbiter is scheduled to land back at Kennedy Space Center at 0906 EST Wednesday, February 20.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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