I spoke briefly with ESA’s Kris Capelle at ESOC yesterday. Kris is Mission Director Leader at ATV-CC and is responsible for the overall operational activities for ATV-2; he also worked on the Flight Operations Management Team for ATV-1 in 2007-08. Kris mentioned several key dates coming up for the ATV-CC team, which I pass along below. ESA ATV blog co-editor Jari Makinen and myself will be at ATV-CC next week to interview the extended team on both the ESA and CNES side and get as much background info as we can on the increasingly intense preparations for launch. … which we’ll post here in the blog, naturally!

  • 18 Jan – Stage Operations Readiness Review (SORR) was completed in Houston with all ISS partners. Kris said: “The pressure was on us to demonstrate to the ISS partners that ATV is ready for launch. ATV is good to go!”
  • 25 & 28 Jan – End-to-end readiness testing at ATV-CC involving the complete ATV ground segment. The test on the 28th will include receipt at ATV-CC of ‘live’ telemetry from ATV mounted on top of its Ariane 5 launcher.
  • 2 Feb – Dress rehearsal and simulation with Houston and Moscow control centres of complete time period between rendezvous, at approximately 3000m, up to docking with the ISS.
  • 9 Feb  – Count-down and launch rehearsal including ATV-CC and the Arianespace launch control centre in Kourou
  • 10 Feb – Launch Readiness Review (LRR)
  • 11 Feb – ATV-CC Ground Segment network final readiness check with International Partners
  • 13 Feb (L-3 days) – Revue Avant Lancement (RAL; ‘Review before launch’) – date to be confirmed

And, of course:

  • 15 February – ATV Johannes Kepler launch from Kourou, 22:07 UT (23:07) CET

Note that all of these dates are subject to change – meaning you should check back in the blog regularly. 🙂