ISS astronauts set new space lab

2008-02-12 19:43:30 CCTV


On the International Space Station, astronauts are rolling up their sleeves to get a new space lab up and running.

Crew members spent Tuesday morning hooking up power, fluid and data lines linking the new module to the station before French astronaut Leopold Eyharts briefly floated inside for the first time.

He says the lab appears to be in good shape.

Two American spacewalkers helped install Europe's shiny new two billion US dollar lab on Monday.

The astronauts shouted and cheered when the seven meter, 14-ton lab finally reached its docking port on the station.

The spacewalk lasted eight hours, one and a half hours longer than usual.

German astronaut, Hans Schlegel, was stuck inside the whole time. He was supposed to float outside to help with Columbus' hookup, but got sick after last week's lift-off and was replaced.

The last-minute switch in crew prompted NASA to delay Columbus' installation by a day and lengthen Atlantis' space station visit.

The European Space Agency has waited years to see Columbus fly.

The lab was supposed to go up in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the sailing of Christopher Columbus, but space station and then shuttle problems delayed everything.