Mission quiz: Answer 1 – Where does that water come from?
Here's the correct answer to yesterday's first question in our Mission Quiz ("Name the two European sources of the two different types of H2O thatATV transports to the ISS") courtesy of the ATV Cargo specialists:
For American water, we use the Pian Della mussa source that is a lighter water with a mountain source
For the Russian water, we use the Regina Margherita source that is close to Turin (Grugliasco/Collegno) and contains more natural minerals.
Herewith, we're delighted to present the results of judging of the submissions sent in via Twitter and the blog! (Note that our judges felt that it was important to be a fully accurate as possible in the answer...)
Congratulations to the winner, Georg Balmer, with the the first, best response:
The water that ATV delivers to the ISS is delivered by the "Società Metropolinata Acque Torino", the Metropolitan Water Company of Torino, and comes from two different sources near the Italian city of Torino: spring water from "Pian della Mussa", meeting the American standards, and water with higher mineral content, as required by the Russian standard, from wells in the region of Collegno.
The loading process for ATV Albert Einstein has begun at the Guiana Space Centre. During January 2013, the big M1 cargo bags are being loaded into ATV as part of nominal cargo loading. A second opportunity for cargo loading comes towards the end of March, when ATV will already be vertical on top of the Ariane launcher.
Second brine transfer complete
Update in from ESA's Mike Steinkopf at ATV-CC
Just to let you know: crew have performed the second Brine transfer from the ISS's Advanced Recycle Filter Tank (ARFTA) to ATV-3's No. 2 tank, followed by a urine transfer of 8 standard EDV-SV vessels into the same ATV tank.
This makes, so far, 218 litres of liquid waste taken on board into the ATV No. 2 tank. Future planned liquid waste transfers (from 5 to 6 EDV containers) will be transferred into the No. 3 tank to balance the load and maintain ATV's centre of mass (C of M).
PS: The O2 transfer last Friday was successful!
Astro Pettit, Astro Kuipers unloading ATV-3
A couple of (largely similar) updates via NASA's Daily Station Reports for Wednesday and Thursday this week. As of today, 1718 kg (78%) of ATV-3 cargo has been transferred to the ISS, and ATV Amaldi has accepted 390 kg of trash.
Wed, 9 May
NASA astronaut Don Pettit had about 90 minutes set aside for more ATV-3 cargo operations (unloading & unpacking into stowage) and bag cleaning, which includes stowing discarded bags and foam packing material in Edoardo Amaldi, including a tag-up with the ground at about 13:30 CEST for a status report.
Thu, 10 May
Later, ESA astronaut André Kuipers had about 2 hrs set aside for more ATV-3 cargo operations (unloading & unpacking into stowage) and bag cleaning, which includes stowing discarded bags and foam packing material in Edoardo Amaldi, including a tag-up with the ground at about 14:40 CEST for a status report.
Editor's note: In a 'tag-up', the astronaut calls ground to discuss how the cargo transfer is going - how it's progressing, what's where, report what's happening, etc., before moving on; essentially, an informal information swap.
Update: ISS refuelling planned for 17-19 May
Didier Collin, Flight Director at ATV-CC, and Jean-Michel Bois (at rear), Mission Director (C) and Credit: CNES/S.Girard 2011
In mid-May, ATV Johannes Kepler is scheduled to conduct the first refuelling of the ISS. The transfer of propellant from Kepler to the ISS is split into five steps. The first took place on 18 February with a check of the electronics and systems used for the refuelling.
The final three steps - including the actual transfer of fuel - are planned for the 17-19 May. Here are a few more interesting details on the 22 March leak tests, courtesy of our colleagues at le blog de l'ATV-2 at CNES.
Interior of the ATV simulator showing the vessel in "in-flight" configuration
Just in from Mike Steinkopf, ESA mission director at ATV-CC: O2 transfer to the ISS ended at 19:08 CET: 'transfer was successful'. The gas delivery ran for about 3 hours. Mike adds: "In the meantime, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli finished today's planned cargo transfer to ISS." More details on this via NASA:
While the (O2) repress(urization) was going on, astronauts Coleman & Nespoli performed cargo transfer activities in ATV. These included:
TSR (Temporary Stowage Rack) deployment
Removal of large stowage bags (M-Bags) from the rack front and stowing them temporarily out of the way
Retrieving a delivered RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) & transferring it to the PMM for stowage
Removing two adapter plates to access rack cargo
Special attention was given to the location of a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) with ESA's FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) experiment 'Geoflow', which will be set up tomorrow.
ATV reboosts & O2 delivery – and Japan quake disrupts ISS operations
In the past few days, we picked up several bits of ATV- and station-related news, which we've wrapped up below into today's Sunday morning update. (Click on 'continue reading' below for the full post.)
First, from ESA's Charlotte Beskow at the ATV programme office, who emailed to report on the results of the oxygen (O2) release that took place Friday, 11 March. ISS flight engineer Paolo Nespoli set up ATV's Gas Control Panel (GCP) for a 10-mmHg O2 (oxygen) delivery - the '10mmHg' refers to the amount of gas to be released in terms of an increase in pressure inside the ISS.
He then conducted the first pressurization of the ISS cabin atmosphere from the ATV Gas Delivery System (GDS)'s gas line No. 1. Basically, this involves operating a valve to release the oxygen into the interior compartment of the ATV, which since docking on 24 February, is simply an integral interior portion of the ISS - and the O2 diffuses into the Station.
An animation showing a reboost performed by ATV Jules Verne in 2008
ATV-2 delivers: A cool video report spotlighting what's been happening with ATV Johannes Kepler since the hugely successful docking on 24 February. We're also planning a more detailed report later this week on flight operations and ISS reboosts conducted by ATV in the past 12 days.
CBC interview with ESA’s Kristen MacDonnell
Very nice report from 15 February by Canada's CBC on ATV launch - includes audio interview with Kirsten MacDonnell, ESA's (Canadian!) engineer looking after cargo and load planning. Access via CBC.ca
ATV: Europe’s key contribution to the ISS
Nice video released today by ESA TV! In recent weeks several space freighters, the Russian Progress and Japanese HTV, have arrived at the International Space Station. But the most important logistics spacecraft for the ISS is Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle.
The ATV-2 called Johannes Kepler is to be launched from Kourou in just over a week and will be docking at the orbital complex on February 23rd with over 7 tonnes of cargo.
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 (planned)
5/06 Lift-off VA213 (planned) All dates subject to change