The hatch of the ATV Johannes Kepler is now closed as the loading of the last minute cargo was done yesterday.

Up to about 430 kg of cargo, packed in 28 bags, were lowered into ATV’s cargo compartment, known as the Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), via a manually operated winch with the operator attached in a harness at the lower end of the winch cable. The bags were stowed into exact, predefined locations, securing belts around the cargo were tightened so that it does not shift during launch and flight, and – finally – the hatch was closed and secured.

“The ATV late cargo loading has been concluded today [Saturday, 29 January] and went very smooth,” says Nico Dettmann, Head of ATV Production Programme at ESA, who is supervising launch preparations in Kourou.

“After having done the final inspections inside the ICC, the operators could take a last look in the inside of the module before the hatch was finally closed one hour ago. The next person who will see the ICC interior will be the ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli on board the ISS.”