Image: Flight Engineer Dan Tani (left) watches as Mission Specialists Leopold Eyharts (center) and Leland Melvin operate the International Space Station's robotic arm. Photo credit: NASA TV
The STS-122 crew entered 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.
Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-122 crew arrived at the International Space Station at 12:17 p.m., delivering the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory and a new crew member to the orbital outpost.
The crews will prepare for the first of three scheduled STS-122 spacewalks and Sunday's scheduled installation of the Columbus laboratory.
STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel will perform the spacewalk, set to kick off at 9:35 a.m. Sunday. Columbus, which can accommodate numerous experiments, is scheduled to be attached to the station at 4:25 p.m. Sunday.
STS-122 is the 24th shuttle mission to visit the station. Atlantis is scheduled to return to Earth Feb. 18.