ATV seen from Discovery
ATV seen from the Space Shuttle on 26 February (Photo: NASA)
When Space Shuttle Discovery
docked to the International Space Station on Saturday, the astronauts aboard took some nice photos - like this one featuring part of the ISS with ATV Johannes Kepler
. Another photo you can call "priceless"!
Got the goodies from ATV!
Got the goodies from ATV. What, no pizza for me? I guess rehydrated macaroni & cheese will have to do for next few months! Presi i pacchi doni. Cosa? Non c’è pizza per me? Accidenti, dovrò acconterntarmi di pasta reidratata per i prossimi mesi!
Crew have completed final ATV ingress activities
Overnight, ATV-CC confirmed that the crew had completed the ingress process: ATV Johannes Kepler is open for business!
From now on, ATV is a fully functional albeit temporary extension of the ISS, the vessel can start to fulfil its major mission objective - to provide services to the ISS. "We are ready, on request by the international partners, to transfer cargo, refuel the ISS tanks with propellant, provide oxygen resupply and boost the station to higher or lower orbits. If necessary we can perform also debris avoidance manoeuvres," said Mike Steinkopf, the Mission Director who oversaw yesterday's ingress, in an email. Mike also added, "This finishes a long shift on console in ATV-CC. Handover is done to our colleagues for a hopefully quite follow-on shift!"
Click on 'continue reading below' to read more details on ingress from NASA's on-orbit daily update report.
ISS crew have started final ingress activities
UPDATED:: 26.02 11:55 CET
Mike Steinkopf is on shift at ATV-CC this evening monitoring ATV hatch opening and ingress by the crew. He's just sent in the update below:
Scrubbing has finished, and the final ingress activities have started allowing crew to set-up ATV for crew use during the entire attached phase. Crew will remove the scrubbing equipment and will set up the air exchange duct, which will allow inter-module ventilation, install safety equipment (such as gas masks and a fire extinguisher) inside ATV as well as hand-rails to allow them to work within ATV. After launch and docking, final ingress is the third important mission step.
And this picture from Paolo Nespoli sent in Saturday:
ATV-CC confirms: Johannes Kepler hatch open as of 16:06 GMT (17:06 CET)
ATV hatch opening
Great news! As mentioned earlier, the astronauts will now install scrubbers to run, set for about three hours. Afterwards, they will prepare ATV for crew use: this includes removing the scrubbers, turning on lights, checking out the interior, ensuring that fire extinguishers and masks are in place, etc. The crew will also install 16 clamps to improve rigidity of the docking connection. Check back later this evening - if we get any images sent down, we'll add them here to the blog.
ATV hatch opening now in progress
Mission controllers at ESA's ATV Control Centre in Toulouse gave the 'go' for opening at 15:51 GMT (16:51 CET) and the crew are now in the process of physically opening the hatch. The process takes about 15 minutes. Immediately afterwards, the crew will insert scrubbers to scrub the air inside ATV (removing any possible small particles of debris), which will run for about three hours.
ATV hatch opening: Waiting for confirmation
Mike Steinkopf, ESA Mission Director at ATV-CC, is just waiting for confirmation of hatch opening, set for a few minutes ago at 15:10 GMT - 16:10 CET. Earlier today, the crew were conducting leak checks in the hatch volume between ATV and the ISS.
ATV docking to ISS under the watchful eye of the Moon
Paolo has sent some nice photos showing how Johannes Kepler docked yesterday from the same direction where the Moon was making sure that everything went well.
Happy faces after the docking
Just before docking...