A quick update from Jean-Michel Bois at ATV-CC, where many members of the ESA/CNES mission control team enjoyed only a short weekend as ATV-4 came to a successful conclusion. I had mailed to ask him if the next round of simulation training would start already. He replied:
No simulations yet (first in January)!
Beforehand, we need to archive the ATV-4 data... then clean the computers and hard disks. Afterwards, there's implementation of a few changes in the hardware configuration (network, redundancies, etc.). At the end of the month, we've got installation of the ATV-CC ATV5 version software (adapted databases, a few software corrections and upgrades, etc.). December is dedicated to checking and validating this new environment. The goal is to be ready for a major ATV operations milestone, the SRKP (Simulation Readiness Key Point), which is now planned for 9 January. This provides the 'Go' to start the simulation and training campaign.
Immediately after, we'll have two major simulations – for the rendezvous (RDV) and the launch/LEOP phase. The first trilateral coordinated training (ESA-NASA-RSCE + ground networks) – called the 'JIS' for Joint Integrated Simulation – is scheduled on 22 January.
As you can see, actually, the schedule is very tight and each day is important. No vacation for the teams!