ATV is firmly attached to the International Space Station and some of the flight controllers are taking a break – but not all of them! All electrical connections have to be verified and many other steps must be taken both by the astros in space and by mission control before the hatch can be opened. Just now ‘nominal alarms’ are sounding in the main control room, indicating that everything is going fine.
The ATV hooks – that latch it to the ISS – were closed today 16:06:25 GMT; the ISS hooks 16:08:10 GMT and after that controllers waited about 10 minutes until the firm attachment was confirmed. Electrical connections were confirmed at 16:18:55 and data connections were up as of 16:35 GMT – at that time, the ATV vehicle was in a ‘dormant’ mode (waiting!).
According to the mission plan, the hatch will be opened tomorrow, on Friday, 25 February, at 13:55 GMT (14:55 CET) – but that may be little bit earlier, as happened with Jules Verne. After this – naturally – the whole attached phase of the mission is ahead of us!