With the Progress 51P spacecraft leaving the International Space Station, Volare mission director Roland Luettgens explains what this means for ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and ATV-4:
The Russian supply ship Progress 51P is currently occupying the docking port that ATV Albert Einstein will dock with. The Progress will leave the International Space Station on Tuesday at 13:59 GMT. It will perform a separation burn three minutes after it has left the Station. This means the Progress will be moving away from the back of the International Space Station and the crew should see the spacecraft departing. We hope to get some good pictures tomorrow.
The Progress 51P has been loaded with trash from the Space Station and it will perform a series of engine burns after it leaves to prepare for its destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. The actual deorbit will occur on 19 June at 12:52 GMT.
This will clear the back of the International Space Station for docking with ATV-4 on Saturday 15 at 13:46 GMT.
We are preparing next week’s of activities so Luca can remove and stow almost 200 kg of ESA cargo from ATV-4. Luca has two important tasks to do soon after docking. One is the installation of the FASES experiment in the Fluid Science Laboratory in Columbus. The other is installing a new Water Pump that ATV-4 will bring for our Thermal Control System. The Water Pump weighs almost 90kg on Earth but of course without gravity it will not be a problem for Luca to move it from ATV Albert Einstein in the Columbus module.