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.
And here's the shaky hand-cam video clip! It shows the horizontal-laying ICC (Integrated Cargo Carrier) front half of the vessel – good shot of the docking mechanism – and then the walk around takes you to the back and shows a view of the vertical Service Module.
ATV-5 in final assembly at Astrium/Bremen
A few nice shots taken earlier today in the ATV integration building at Astrium/Bremen.
Astrium is hosting a VIP event here today to mark the final days of ATV-5 assembly and its preparation for shipping to Kourou.
A selection of shots is below via ESA's Flickr gallery; my favourite is this one!
Spacecraft hardware! Credit: ESA
Gravity, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, the ISS, Shuttle and ATV
After some some quiet time at ATV-CC, today (Friday, 23 Aug) was again a hectic day as the ATV hatch was opened again after being closed prior to two Russian spacewalks. Mission Director Mike Steinkopf sent this update some minutes ago:
The crew successfully completed the inner hatch volume leak check (between the ISS hatch and ATV hatch) and opened first the ISS and – after further pressure equalization (pressure in ATV and in the ISS must be equalized) – the ATV hatch was opened at about 11:51 GMT (13:51 CEST).
During the early afternoon, the crew transferred liquid waste from a US recycle tank into ATV's tank No. 1 (about 21.55l).
Crew also just reported that drinking water transfer (about 66 liters) from ATV tank No. 3 into three specific water containers (called EDVs) was successful.
This finishes another long day of operations.
It’s showtime today: fuel for the ISS
Yesterday afternoon the propellant pipes of the ATV were pressurised and "everyhting is now 'go' for the refuelling", confirmed Jean-Michel Bois from the ATV-CC this morning.
ATV will pump 860 kg of fuel and oxidiser into the tanks of Zarya module on this afternoon. All of the available propellants will be transferred during the 1.5-hour operation, after which the pipes will be purged and evacuated to avoid any problems when ATV undocks.
ATV is docked to Zvesda module, but the tanks into which fuel and oxidiser from the ATV are pumped are located in Zarya.
Then air and oxygen will flow into the Station on 12 and 13 August. ATV-4 holds 66.3 kg of air and 33.3 kg of pure oxygen for the crew. It also arrived with 564 kg of water in its tanks, 23% of which has already been pumped into the Station’s tanks.
On 14 August, ATV will light up its engines for another orbit reboost, followed by another on 28 August.
Register via our contact page to win a pair of tickets to attend Katie Paterson's Artist Talk next week, on 30 July, courtesy of Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK.
Katie will be joined on stage by Dr Alice Bunn, from the UKSA.
To enter, simply submit your name, email and phone number via http://blogs.esa.int/atv/contact/ no later than 12:00 BST on Monday, 29 July. Three names will be drawn and the winners contacted that afternoon.
ATV-4 Mission Quiz: Question 1
While you're busy working on the ATV reboost homework questions posted by Rhett Allain (reminder: there are prizes!) – or if you're looking for, uhmmm, a somewhat less challenging challenge – here is Question 1 in this week's fabulous ATV-4 Mission Quiz (we'll post three questions this week). Thanks to the team at EAC and especially ATV training specialist Lionel Ferra for the inspiration!
View showing the gas & water delivery control panel mounted inside ATV and accessible to the crew.
First, the intro crescendo...
And here's Question 1:
Name the two European sources of the two different types of H2O that ATV transports to the ISS
Hint: Both sources may be near the same city...
Got answers? Post your best guess here in the blog or tweet via Twitter (use #missionquiz hashtag) before 12:00 CEST Tuesday, 16 April.
Times in UTC
6/05 - ATV-4 moves to the BAF for final preparations
8/05 - ESA Operations Readiness Review
20/05 - Late-cargo loading
31/05 - Launch Readiness Review
03/06 - IMMT GO/NO-GO for launch & docking
05/06 - Lift-off Arianespace VA213 23:52 CEST
15/06 - Docking 15:46 CEST
28/10 - Undocking 9:55 CET
2/11 - Reentry 13:05 CET All future dates subject to change