The day began at 3:46 a.m. CST. The wakeup song 'Fly Like an Eagle,' written by Steve Miller, was played for Mission Specialist Leland Melvin on the day he will use the station's robotic arm to lift the Columbus research module from Atlantis' payload bay.
Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love will leave the Quest airlock at 8:35 a.m. CST for a 6.5-hour spacewalk to mate Columbus to the Harmony module. Inside the space station, Melvin will operate the station's arm and Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel will assist the two spacewalkers.
Walheim and Love will first install a grapple fixture on Columbus while it rests inside the shuttle's payload bay. The two spacewalkers will then prepare to replace a large nitrogen tank used for pressurizing the station's ammonia cooling system.
Meanwhile, Melvin will use the station's robotic arm to grasp Columbus and move it into place on the starboard side of Harmony. Motorized bolts will lock Columbus in place. Once Columbus is attached, crew members will do an initial leak check.
Columbus is the cornerstone of the European Space Agency's contribution to the International Space Station and is the first European laboratory to be dedicated to long-term research in space.