ATV’s internal camera delivered data, but not images

A prototype ‘blackbox for spacecraft’ running inside ESA’s cargo ferry as it burned up in the atmosphere managed to return data to the ground but, sadly, the images it took were lost in transit.

ESA BUC in ATV-5

ESA BUC in ATV-5 Credit: ESA/NASA

ESA’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle broke up as planned over an uninhabited region of the South Pacific at about 18:04 GMT on Sunday 15 February, having separated from the International Space Station the day before.

Aboard it was the Break-Up Camera, designed to record ATV’s death throes in the infrared and transfer the results to the SatCom heatshield-protected sphere.

Surviving the break-up, SatCom then broadcasts its stored data to Iridium telecom satellites as it plummets back to Earth.
ATV-5 reentry seen from Space Station

How did it turn out in practice? The good news is that the team did indeed receive a message from the SatCom on Sunday evening at 18:08 GMT, four minutes after ATV broke up.

Read the full story in ESA website

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More images of ATV’s last flight – from Slovakia

While we wait for news from the Break-Up Camera we received more amazing pictures of ATV-5 in space via our blog contact form - thanks Marian! 

Your invitation to send images of ATV-5 has me caught up now, but I have some interesting images. The first is from 14 February and captures the last common flyby of International Space Station and ATV-5:

14 February and captures the last common flyby of International Space Station and ATV-5
And this is from 15 February and captures single ATV-5 on its last orbit (ATV in culmination last shined with unique a flash):

from 15 February and captures single ATV-5 on its last orbit (ATV in culmination last shined with unique a flash)

With best regards
Marian from Slovakia

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Last goodbyes: ATV-5 seen from Earth – a tribute gallery

When we invited everyone to send us pictures of ATV-5 streaking over skies with the International Space Station for Valentine's day, we didn't expect such an overwhelming response. We received inputs from UK, Belgium, France, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands and Poland - wow!

Below are (almost) all the photos we managed to collect including a video. Thanks for sharing this moment with the world, we will miss ATV!

We have not quite decided exactly how we will distribute the prizes (we need to count how much ATV swag we have left) but we know how to contact you...

 

Posted in ATV-5, Free flight, Fun stuff, Operations, Video | 4 Comments

Next up… Orion!

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship....

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ATV forever

This was the last image shown on the ATV Control Centre's main screen after the last reentry ever of an Automated Transfer Vehicle. The technology in ATV will go to space again in 2017 on NASA's Orion spacecraft.

Last screen shown at the ATV control centre before being switched off.

Last screen shown at the ATV control centre before being switched off.

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Great view of ATV-5 smoke trail

And on board the ISS, astro Terry also grabbed an amazing photo of ATV-5 reentry!

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A dark and empty ATV Control Centre

Aside from one determined computer monitor ATV Control Centre is switched off and empty. The first time in over five years!

ATV Control Centre is switched off.

ATV Control Centre is switched off.

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Rentry from space: ATV-5 seen from ISS

ATV-5 seen from space just prior to its destruction: Thanks for a great photo from the ISS, Astro Sam!

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Last ATV reentry leaves legacy for future space exploration

ESA’s fifth automated cargo ferry completed its mission to the International Space Station today when it reentered the atmosphere and burned up safely over an uninhabited area of the southern Pacific Ocean.

The end of the mission came as the craft broke up as planned at about 18:04 GMT (19:04 CET), marking the end of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme. The programme has served the Station with the most complex space vehicle ever developed in Europe, achieving five launches in six years following its 2008 debut.

Full article in ESA website.

Final view of ATV-CC Credit: ESA

Final view of ATV-CC Credit: ESA

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Final deorbit boost complete

ATV Georges Lemaître has been sent towards Earth for its controlled reentry after completing its second and last deorbit burn.

The 23.3-minute burn reduced the spacecraft's speed by 322.56 km/h and set it heading for its fiery end.

Imagine sending the command to destroy the spacecraft that you have worked on and with for many years. Emotional moments for the teams at the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France.

The final command will be sent to the spacecraft at 18:06 GMT setting Georges Lemaître to tumble and rotate to improve its drag.

ATV Control Centre just before deorbit boost.

ATV Control Centre just before deorbit boost.

Posted in ATV-5, ATV-CC, Undocking/reentry | 2 Comments