Image: Space shuttle Atlantis docks with the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA TV
The Expedition 16 crew welcomed the STS-122 astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time after the hatches between the station and space shuttle Atlantis opened at 1:40 p.m. EST today.
Atlantis docked with station at 12:17 p.m., bringing with it the newest station research module - the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory. Also traveling with STS-122 is a new Expedition 16 crew member, European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts, who will replace Flight Engineer Daniel Tani.
The crews will prepare for the first of three scheduled STS-122 spacewalks and Sunday's scheduled installation of the Columbus laboratory.