New artist impressions of Orion with service module

NASA released new images of the Orion spacecraft, now with a shinier look. ESA will supply the service module for Orion based on ATV technology. The module sits directly below Orion’s crew capsule and provides propulsion, power,...

2015-11-19 15_27_14-From the cutting room floor _ Georges Lemaître

From the cutting room floor

A year before the ATV programme came to an end, we made some videos featuring our favourite spacecraft. With valuable help from ESTEC’s cameraman intern, videos were shot and edited in the style of “10 things you...

ATV training for astronauts Credit: ESA

3D training the astronaut way

Astronaut teachers are always looking for ways to improve their training, and the International Training Control Board (ITCB) is looking for ways to reduce the time spent training astronauts on ground and replace it with efficient “On-Board...

ATV-5 departs the Station. Credits: NASA

ATV parking lights

This ATV blog is in the process of being archived and going into retirement but great questions are still coming in that we feel obliged to answer. In response to our “ATV-made in USA” post Marcin asked:...

Expedition 45 "Return of the Jedi" poster. Credits: NASA

A long time ago in our galaxy…

The ATV programme might be over, but the legend lives on. Our favourite X-Wing aircraft shows up in NASA's Expedition 45 poster to the left of the green lightsaber held by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. This is...

ATV Control Centre is switched off.

ATV-CC decommissioning: Going, going…

Formatting, disconnecting and - Hop! - dismantled! Decommissioning the ATV Control Centre, especially the Main Control Room, is a long task, with a bit of nostalgia. The operation will last two to three months. A team of...


ATV in numbers

Another great recap of the five ATV missions from France's space agency CNES... in numbers. This infographic in French gives an impression of the scale of running a spacecraft programme, below is a rough translation, without the...

ATV Control Centre web documentary

Interactive book on ATV Control Centre

Our friends at France's space agency CNES have published an excellent interactive book on ATV seen through the eyes of the ATV Control Centre. From the first signatures in 1995 to the last command sent, the web...

R-4D thruster. Credits: Aerojet

ATV: Made in America

Even though the last of the ATVs, Georges Lemaître, ended its mission last month we still have one more country to finish our ‘ATV-Made-in’ series: the United States of America. American company Aerojet supplied ATV’s large 490-N...

@BigArtimon “Georges Lemaitre up to Ottignies, Belgium sat. feb.14th 2015@18h11 TU”

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

Update 2: Finally got round to posting everything today. Apologies for the delay. Due to overwhelming participation and the decision to give everybody a little something, we distributed the prizes randomly. Some will receive but an ATV-5...

Credits: NASA

Next up… Orion!

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.... Post by NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

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

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...


Great view of ATV-5 smoke trail

And on board the ISS, astro Terry also grabbed an amazing photo of ATV-5 reentry! Final view #ATV5 Georges Lemaître entering Earth's atmosphere. It was surprising to see how high the smoke trail was. pic.twitter.com/gt6kiBqJSq — Terry...


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! Good bye #ATV5! Arrivederci ATV5! pic.twitter.com/q9FOcwUOh7 — Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) February 15, 2015

ATV Control Centre just before deorbit boost.

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...

ATV-5 and International Space Station over Saxony, Germany. Credits: Alex Spiller

ATV-5’s Big Dive

Animation of what's happening this evening, as ATV-5 reenters, thanks to CNES. Désamarrage et rentrée atmosphérique de l'ATV-5 from CNES on Vimeo.

In this image, the ESA and CNES mission control teams are seen in the foreground, preparing for ATV-5 undocking. In the background, ESA's Engineering Support Team and industry experts can be seen. Out of view to the left: the CNES flight dynamics experts. ATV-5 undocking is set for 14:44 CET, 14 Feb 2015. Credit: ESA

ATV-CC voice loop: thanks to Houston & Moscow

Audio recording of the post-undocking voice loop conversation between ATV-CC Toulouse and the flight directors at Houston and Moscow. ATV-CC sends thanks and signs off after an extremely successful ATV programme.