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Leopold Eyharts Assigned To European Columbus Laboratory ISS Assembly Mission

ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts, from France, in front of a Space Shuttle orbiter mock-up during training at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, in June 2006. A test pilot in the French Air Force, Leopold Eyharts has logged 3 500 hours flying time on over 50 types of aircraft, before being selected as an astronaut by the French National Space Agency (CNES) in 1990. Leopold Eyharts underwent two short-duration training sessions at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow in 1991 and 1993, and took part in an evaluation of Russian 'Buran' Space Shuttle training in Moscow, where he flew in the Tupolev 154 Buran in-flight simulator.

In July 1994, he was assigned as a back-up crewmember for the Franco-Russian Cassiopee space flight, flown in August 1996, and in December 1996, he was selected for the CNES follow-on scientific space Pegase mission to Mir, from 29 January to 19 February 1998. In August 1998, Leopold Eyharts joined ESA's Astronaut Corps at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. He was assigned to train at JSC, and entered the 1998 Mission Specialist Class. Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja

by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Feb 14, 2007
ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts of France has today been assigned to fly onboard the International Space Station for the delivery and commissioning of the European Columbus laboratory currently planned for this autumn. He will be a member of the Expedition 16 crew to the ISS. He is set to fly there on Space Shuttle (Discovery) mission STS-122 and will return home with the (Endeavour) STS-123 crew some two months later.

En route to the ISS, Eyharts will be accompanied by five NASA crewmates and ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel of Germany, who was assigned to STS-122 last July.

While Eyharts will remain onboard the Station to oversee activation and check-out of the Columbus laboratory, Schegel will take a Shuttle return trip home 14 days after launch.

Leopold Eyharts has been a member of the European Astronaut Corps since 1998 and carried out his first-ever space mission to the Russian space station Mir from 29 January to 19 February 1998 as a French space agency (CNES) astronaut.

On this forthcoming mission, Eyharts will play a key part in the installation, activation and commissioning of ESA's Columbus laboratory. Columbus is the cornerstone of Europe's contribution to the International Space Station and is the first-ever European laboratory devoted to long-term research in space.

Eyharts will become the first European astronaut to test and operate in-orbit the systems of the Columbus module as well as the European science experiments carried onboard. During his ISS mission, he will act as flight engineer and will also support robotics activities.

Columbus will be transported to the Station in the Shuttle's cargo bay together with five internal rack facilities (Biolab, the Fluid Science Laboratory, the European Physiology Module facility, the European Drawer Rack and the European Transport Carrier).

Two external experiment facilities for Columbus (EuTEF and SOLAR) will also be travelling in the cargo bay and will be attached onto the outside of the laboratory module during the STS-122 mission.

Following the launch from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Shuttle will take two days to rendezvous and dock with the ISS. The Columbus laboratory will then be unberthed from the Shuttle's cargo bay using Canada's Space Station robotic arm (Canadarm 2) and mated to the starboard-side docking port of Node 2, the European-built ISS connecting module.

Once attached, Columbus will be powered up and its payload rack facilities will be moved from their launch configuration to their operational locations in the module.

Four spacewalks (EVA, extra-vehicular activities) are scheduled during this mission. The first will help install and power-up Columbus. The second EVA will serve to install the Columbus external payloads. The third and fourth will be devoted to various ISS maintenance tasks.

Final laboratory commissioning and activation/check-out of the science experiment racks will take place during the weeks that follow and will be carried out by Leopold Eyharts as a member of the resident ISS crew.

Once the European laboratory is attached, the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany, based on the premises of the DLR's space operations centre, will be in charge of control/operations. The Centre will also coordinate European experiment operations

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US Gyrodyne Repaired On Space Station Says RSA
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Feb 12, 2007
One of the U.S. gyrodynes on the International Space Station, disconnected Sunday due to a malfunction, has been repaired and put back into operation, the Russian space agency said Tuesday. Gyrodynes are used to maintain the ISS's orientation in orbit. At least two gyrodynes need to be in working order for the station to remain correctly positioned, but all four must be fully operational for the station to be stable, otherwise it must burn additional fuel and risks losing its communication link with the Earth.







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