Astro Samantha & Cosmo Sasha complete ATV-5 training
ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev completed their training on ATV-5 docking/undocking at ESA's European Astronaut Centre today. Congrats to both!
The two were undergoing training because they will serve as the crew members who oversee the undocking of ATV-5.
A relaxed, post-test view of the Exp41/42 crew, ESA ATV instructors (x4), Russian instructors from GCTC (1 for the ISS, 1 for Soyuz/ATV) and -- of course -- 1 translator. Photo was taken after today's successful rendezvous/docking and undocking exams. Credit: ESA
ESA's Alexander Gerst will oversee docking of ATV-5, in Spring 2014, together with Russia's Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Skvortsov (Can we call this the 'Triple Alex' docking? - Ed.), while Samantha together with Alexander Samokutyaev will undock ATV-5 in Autumn 2014
Sasha Samokutyaev took part in the undocking of ATV-2 in 2011, and he also saw the undocking of the last Shuttle, STS-135, from the ISS. Sasha is truly the 'specialist of the 'lasts'...'
Herewith, a few photos of ATV-2 undocking, cargo inspection by Sasha within ATV-2, and Sasha seen with STS-135 through the port from the Russian Service Module nadir window.
ATV-2 in orbit. Credit: ESA/NASA
Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev in ATV-2. Credit: ESA/NASA
Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev with last Shuttle. Credit: ESA/NASA
Astro Samantha’s L-380 Logbook: ATV training
Astro Samantha's training logbook post from yesterday, mentioning her ATV training.
ATV-4 re-entry animation
Many thanks to Vladimir Jankijevic, in Zurich, who sent in a neat animation made by stitching together the re-entry images we posted yesterday.
ESA's fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle, Albert Einstein, burnt up on 2 November at 12:04 GMT over an uninhabited area of the Pacific Ocean. This Animation is made from the photos from the ESA Flickr set.
Fabulous tribute to ATV Albert Einstein from the crew in space
Update today from ESA's astro Luca and the crew of the ISS, celebrating the famous photo of Albert Einstein with his tongue stuck out. Fun in Zero G as ATV Albert Einstein departs Station!
ATV-4 ready for hatch closure – set for 16:10 CEST
This information was provided by ESA's Mike Steinkopf, Mission Director on console at ATV-CC for today's hatch closing.
ATV-4 is ready for today's hatch closure, which is planned at 16:10 CEST. Before hatch closure, the crew will remove various equipment – which will be used for the next ATV – such as the air exchange duct, fire extinguisher, gas masks and the handrails. Also, items such as the smoke detectors and the lamp housing assembly will be removed to be used as spares for other modules in ISS. The ATV and ISS hatch closure operation will start at about 15:25 CEST and finish at 18:10 CEST.
ATV Hatch - seen in the ATV mockup at ESA's EAC, Cologne
This week, the crew performed the last trash-loading activities and the last liquid-waste transfer. After that, crew took about 50 photos of the trash-loading configuration inside ATV to be reviewed by ESA cargo specialists.
This is an important task to verify that all trash has been loaded according to the return cargo map and that all items are properly and safely installed within the racks and on the Adapter plates.
The correct loading of trash is necessary to ensure that ATV is within the MCI (Mass Centre of Inertia) requirements for undocking and re-entry. In case of any deviations in the trash loading configuration (compared to the return cargo map) occurs, the crew would need to perform some CoG (Centre of Gravity) corrections before hatch closure following ESA cargo specialists inputs relocating trash items.
After photo review and verification by our specialists, no CoG correction was necessary.
Volare inflight event for ATV Albert Einstein
From the International Space Station, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano paid tribute to the European Automated Transfer Vehicle Albert Einstein during a live event with universities in Italy, Germany and Israel on 24 October 2013.
The ATV-4 resupply vehicle arrived at the station in June, delivering more than 7 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Space Station crew. It will undock on 28 October and deorbit for a destructive entry back into the Earth's atmosphere over an uninhabited part of the Pacific Ocean.
ATV models in space and for education
Our favourite spacecraft was the setting for the finals of the Volare Space Robotics challenge held at ESA's technical heart ESTEC yesterday. Students were tasked to unload cargo from ATV and bring it to the other side of a shortened version of the International Space Station. Read the full article on the ESA website for more information.
Luca Parmitano greeted the students from space and even demonstrated how ATV floats in microgravity:
ATV event in Milan, Munich, Jerusalem and the International Space Station
ESA is collaborating with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israeli Space Agency, the Italian space agency ASI and the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics to organise a live call with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano from the International Space Station.
The event will be held in three locations: the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, the Technische Universität München in Germany and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
The programme will start with lectures at all three universities on space robotics and satellite technology, followed by an introduction to Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), named Albert Einstein. ESA’s ATV-4 mission manager, Alberto Novelli, will introduce ATV and talk about the International Space Station and aspects of human space flight and exploration in general.
A live connection to the International Space Station will be made and students from the universities will ask questions to ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano.
Press can join by applying through the universities hosting the event. A full programme is available here via the PDF below.
Shadow of ATV-4 on ISS
Shadow of the ATV-4 solar panels seen by Astro Karen!