ESA’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle, scheduled for launch on an Ariane 5 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on 23 March, is planned to dock with the International Space Station five days later. ATV-3 will automatically dock with the Station’s Russian Zvezda module during the night of 28–29 March.
The precise time will be known after launch, which is set for 04:31 GMT (05:31 CET) on Friday, 23 March.
Good news this AM sent in by ESA's ATV-3 mission manager Massimo Cislaghi: ATV-3 launch via Ariane flight VA205 is set for 11:00 CET, 9 March, followed by docking at 3:31 CET, 19 March. Note that these dates/times may shift (if so, we'll have news right here in the blog).
Endeavour docks to ISS
Congratulations to the pilot, crew and ground teams!
Endeavour docked to the space station at 6:14aET/10:14 UTC as the 2 spacecraft flew about 220 miles above & east of Chile #sts134
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.
Diary from a space project : Docking day minus 1 – D-1
EST room… part 1 The other room (part 2) is visible Via a camera
Today's update from Charlotte Beskow, now working here at ATV-CC to monitor today's docking.
Thursday, Feb 24, D -1 or 'D0'… depending on how you look at it
Last day of phasing: The teams are busy preparing for the big day tomorrow. We have done several boosts which have brought us close to the ISS. In fact we are now at ca 850 km from ISS. This is roughly the distance between Amsterdam and Copenhagen…
ISS is only 350 km above us, which is less than the distance of Amsterdam to Bremen…..
It does one orbit in 90 minutes i.e. about 16 orbits per day. We will dock to the ISS when it is over the Russian Ground stations. MCC-Moscow is in charge of this phase and they rely on TM downlinked via these Russian stations.
A little treat for a Saturday evening, just three days before lift off: The best ATV mission profile video yet produced! This video was produced by ESA and shows in exquisite detail how ATV Johannes Kepler gets into orbit, catches up with Station, performs a sophisticated automatic docking, serves as an integral portion of the ISS during the attached phase, and then undocks, departs and reenters.
Insider view: briefing on ATV-CC control facilities with Kris Capelle
Today's video report features ESA's lead Mission Director Kris Capelle taking us on a personal guided tour of the control rooms at ATV Control Centre, located at the CNES establishment in Toulouse, France. Kris does a great job of explaining in plain language who does what, how the team is organised and how mission operations function. There are also great clips of the ESA and CNES mission operations personnel working in the rooms during recent simulations.
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.
L’ATV-2 Johannes Kepler : décollage imminent
A very well-done video profile of the JK mission was just published by our colleagues at CNES, the French space agency. It includes a detailed interview with Martial Vanhove, the head of the CNES flight control team at ATV-CC. Audio in French + cool graphics!
ESA Mission Director Kris Capelle: ATV’s mission uncovered
We met last week at ATV-CC with ESA's lead Mission Director, Kris Capelle, who oversees all operational aspects of the Johannes Kepler mission. In today's video, he talks us through the complete ATV mission profile from launch to reentry, and provides an authentic, 'working-level' view into the challenges of flying Europe's sophisticated ISS cargo vessel.
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