Just arrived from Astro Paolo Nespoli: ATV docking control panel in ISS

This photo is just in from ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli on board the ISS. It shows the control panel that he and Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Kaleri will use in just a few hours to oversee the docking of ATV Johannes Kepler (scroll down for details). Thanks, @astro_paolo!

ATV Docking Control Panel in Russian module of the ISS. Credit: ESA/NASA

ATV Docking Control Panel in Russian module of the ISS. Credit: ESA/NASA

During the final approach to docking, two astronauts on board the ISS will monitor docking closely, ready to issue commands to HOLD, RETREAT, ESCAPE or ABORT if anything goes wrong. For this, they will use a control box - the panel enables 16 different commands - located in the Russian Zvezda ISS module. With this control panel and a laptop, the two - ESA's Paolo Nespoli, from Italy, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri - can follow and intervene if necessary in all final steps of docking.

This is where we will sit to monitor ATV

The four buttons at the top are the most important. The red ABORT button on the left is used in case of any major failure. It uses a computer that is completely separate from ATV's main computer, and controls its own thrusters, electrical system and command network.

Paolo: "This is where we will sit to monitor ATV as it approaches for docking later today - Qui é dove siederemo per vedere l'avvicinarsi dell'ATV verso l'attracco" Credit: ESA/NASA

Other manoeuvres are possible: to hold ATV in its current position, order it to retreat - basically, go back to its previous position - or, if necessary, to conduct an ESCAPE.

The other twelve functions are settings for the camera and the optimize video viewing settings.

About Daniel

Daniel Scuka is Senior Editor for Spacecraft Operations at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.
This entry was posted in Astronauts, Docking, ISS, Technology & engineering. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Just arrived from Astro Paolo Nespoli: ATV docking control panel in ISS

  1. Nano says:

    The information provided is great. The article explaining the Rendez vous and docking step by step is excellent. The view from the ISS is exciting.

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