Door is open and the pump is in

Volare mission control wrote an update yesterday on ESA’s newly-arrived supply ship ATV-4 and its heaviest cargo: a new Water Pump Assembly to keep ESA’s space laboratory Columbus running smoothly:

The door to ATV-4 was opened yesterday and everything was found in its place, so nothing got lost on the 6-million km trip from the spacecraft’s launch to docking. The view below of ATV Albert Einstein shows its precious cargo. At the bottom left is the Water Pump Assembly for the Columbus thermal control system.

ATV-4's cargo. Credits: ESA/NASA

ATV-4’s cargo. Credits: ESA/NASA

Here at the Columbus Control Centre we prepared everything to transfer the first important item, the Water Pump Assembly yesterday afternoon. It had to be unmounted and then transferred from the very back of the International Space Station to the Columbus module – 90 kg moved by hand.

Storing the pump was straightforward and with some help from crewmate Karen Nyberg, Luca was able to get the water pump in place without any problems.

Luca storing the Water Pump Assembly. Credits ESA/NASA

Luca storing the Water Pump Assembly. Credits ESA/NASA

This was the first step of a series of activities that will occur over the next few weeks to have the new water pump integrated in the Columbus laboratory’s thermal control system. It took almost six months to have the water pump tested and prepared for shipping into space on ATV-4.  After all this effort the controllers at the Columbus Control Centre were relieved and happy at the end of the day.

Meanwhile the Russian supply ship Progress 51P which undocked on 11 June and made room for ATV-4 performed a normal 101.356 m/s deorbit burn today at 12:53 GMT. The spacecraft entered Earth’s atmosphere for its planned destruction.

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