The ATV-4 reentry pictures arrived today and they are well worth the wait:
All good missions must come to an end
This year, the ATV team has planned a special departure. After undocking at 09:00 GMT on 28 October, Albert Einstein will be instructed by the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France, to perform a series of delicate manoeuvres over the course of five days to position itself directly below the Station.
ATV Albert Einstein, Europe’s supply and support ferry, docked with the International Space Station on 15 June 2013, some ten days after its launch from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. Credit: ESA/NASA
Controllers will start the reentry procedure around 1300 CET on 2 November when ATV-4 is 120 km below the Station – so astronauts will observe the craft from above as it disintegrates over the Pacific Ocean. This procedure will provide valuable information to calibrate future spacecraft reentries.
A super photo taken by Dani Caxete of the ISS with ATV-4 attached (well, hard to see at this distance – but Albert is there!) transiting the Moon, 15 June at 18:48 CEST, just a couple hours after docking! Thanks for a great photo, Dani. Moon, ISS & ATV- 4 Torrelodones (Madrid) 15-06-2013 18:48:49 distancia ISS-fotógrafo 502.6 km mag -3.2
Head Squeeze live: How do you get to the ISS?
Luca's fast way to space
Luca Parmitano and Expedition 36 crewmates will take the fast way to space with Soyuz on 28 May - the Head Squeeze programme explains how. Join the Google hangout on Tuesday at 15:00 CEST with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli to mark Luca's launch.
Seen from ISS: ATV-3 disappears in smoke and dust
A stunning, first-ever photo showing smoke and dust from the burn up of an ATV – evidence of the fiery plunge through Earth’s atmosphere and the destructive re-entry of Edoardo Amaldi. This image was taken by Expedition 33 crew members aboard the International Space Station on 3 October 2012.
3 Oct 2012 --- This still photo taken by the Expedition 33 crew members aboard the International Space Station shows evidence of the fiery plunge through Earth’s atmosphere and the destructive re-entry of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 (ATV-3) spacecraft, also known as “Edoardo Amaldi.” Credit: NASA
ATV-3 mission overview – video report
After 5 months attached to the International Space Station, ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle, Edoardo Amaldi, will plunge into the atmosphere over the South Pacific during the night of 25 to 26 September [delayed to 28.09 - Ed.] 2012.
The Edoardo Amaldi mission was the third flight of this space freighter resupplying and servicing the orbital complex. For ESA and its international partners all the mission objectives, and more, were fully achieved, and thoughts have now immediately turned to the next ATV flight set for spring 2013.
Video replay: ISS crew opens Dragon’s hatch
The ISS Expedition 31 crew opened the hatch to the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft today at 11.53 CEST (09:53 UT). Wearing protective masks and goggles, as is customary for the opening of a hatch to any newly arrived vehicle at the station, NASA astronaut Don Pettit entered the Dragon with Station Commander Oleg Kononenko.
Watch the replay:
Video replay: SpaceX Dragon captured
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was captured at 15:56 CEST (13:56 UT) today. Operating the Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, NASA astronaut Don Pettit grappled the Dragon, commenting: “Looks like we got ourselves a Dragon by the tail!”.
After Dragon is berthed to the Harmony module's Earth-facing port the hatches will open Saturday morning and the crew will ingress to begin several days of docked operations.
Launched from Florida on Tuesday, the Dragon spacecraft is carrying food and supplies for the Station crew. Dragon is the first privately built spacecraft to visit the ISS.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched from Florida at 09:44 CEST (07:44 UT) today. Carrying a cargo that includes food and supplies for the Station crew, it is the first time a privately built spacecraft heads to the ISS.
Dragon is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Friday 25 May, when Expedition 31 crewmembers André Kuipers and Don Pettit will use the Station's robotic arm Canadarm2 to grapple the spacecraft and manoeuvre it into position to mate with the Harmony module’s Earth-facing docking port.
Expedition 31 crewmembers Don Pettit and André Kuipers were given an extra task on their timeline today - to fix a failed Global Positioning System (GPS) on the International Space Station. The repair was given certain priority as two operational GPS are required for next week's scheduled arrival of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
The GPS failed last week and attempts to restore it from the ground were not succesful. Today Don and André's timelines were rearranged to give them time to remove and replace hardware for the system. After completing the repair, just after 15:30 CEST this afternoon the Station crew received word from the ground that the GPS is now 'working just fine'.
The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled for launch on 19 May, 10:55 CEST (08:55 UT). Berthing of Dragon with the ISS is set for 22 May.
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