Posted on 24 Feb 2011 by Daniel
Just arrived from Astro Paolo Nespoli: ATV docking control panel in ISS
This photo is just in from ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli on board the ISS. It shows the control panel that he and Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Kaleri will use in just a few hours to oversee the docking of ATV Johannes Kepler (scroll down for details). Thanks, @astro_paolo!
During the final approach to docking, two astronauts on board the ISS will monitor docking closely, ready to issue commands to HOLD, RETREAT, ESCAPE or ABORT if anything goes wrong. For this, they will use a control box - the panel enables 16 different commands - located in the Russian Zvezda ISS module. With this control panel and a laptop, the two - ESA's Paolo Nespoli, from Italy, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri - can follow and intervene if necessary in all final steps of docking.
The four buttons at the top are the most important. The red ABORT button on the left is used in case of any major failure. It uses a computer that is completely separate from ATV's main computer, and controls its own thrusters, electrical system and command network.
Paolo: "This is where we will sit to monitor ATV as it approaches for docking later today - Qui é dove siederemo per vedere l'avvicinarsi dell'ATV verso l'attracco" Credit: ESA/NASA
Other manoeuvres are possible: to hold ATV in its current position, order it to retreat - basically, go back to its previous position - or, if necessary, to conduct an ESCAPE.
The other twelve functions are settings for the camera and the optimize video viewing settings.