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.
Follow the ISS Symposium in Berlin
ISS symposium 2012
Senior scientists and heads of the five International Space Station partners will present ground-breaking research and discuss future projects in Berlin on 2–4 May. Follow the first International Space Station symposium live on the web through its dedicated website.
Visit: http://www.isssymposium2012.com to follow the conference in real time. Throughout the symposium summaries of presentations will be posted along with video interviews with key participants.
All clear on ISS after close approach of space debris
International Space Station
The International Space Station crew took shelter in their Soyuz spacecraft earlier this morning when a piece of space debris made a close approach to the International Space Station.
The space debris was tracked from Friday morning and was predicted to pass the ISS at an estimated distance of 23 km at around 07:38 CET on Saturday morning. The late notification of a possible debris conjunction meant it was no longer possible to perform an orbit boost to move the Station clear of the debris. In such situations, it is a standard precautionary procedure for the crew to shelter in their Soyuz spacecraft.
The six ISS Expedition 30 crewmembers were awake one hour earlier than scheduled and entered their two Russian Soyuz spacecraft, where they waited for the debris to pass. The crew exited the Soyuz spacecraft once the all-clear was given by flight controllers in NASA's mission control centre in Houston.
Ariane performed flawlessly, ATV Amaldi is safely in orbit and we've got a mission. Next stop? The ISS!
To celebrate the upcoming docking, Love & Mersey, one of Europe's top Beatles tribute bands, have produced a rocking music video: Back at the ISS.
The song is a 'greeting to space' -- to ESA astronaut André Kuipers and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko; the two will work side-by-side on the ISS overseeing the critical docking of ATV-3. Appropriately, it's performed in English, Russian and Dutch -- three languages that André speaks.
Thanks to Jan, Marcel and the entire band for a fabulous video greeting to space -- and best wishes to André, Oleg and everyone on board for the arrival of ATV!!
Music: J. Hovers; performed by Love & Mersey
Lyrics: (English & Dutch) J. Hovers ‐ (Russian) A. van der Linden‐Krasnopeeva
Camera: M. van der Linden & J. Hovers
Video editing: M. & A. van der Linden
PERMISSION: Back at the ISS may be freely reused for non‐commercial purposes but may not be altered in any way. All usage must include the following credit/copyright citation: All music and lyrics Copyright (C) 2012 Love & Mersey. Original video credit ESA, used with permission.
Today’s final planned ISS boost
... gets underway at 16:21 UT | 18:21 CEST. More details shortly.
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