Overnight, ATV-CC confirmed that the crew had completed the ingress process: ATV Johannes Kepler is open for business!

From now on, ATV is a fully functional albeit temporary extension of the ISS, the vessel can start to fulfil its major mission objective – to provide services to the ISS. “We are ready, on request by the international partners, to transfer cargo, refuel the ISS tanks with propellant, provide oxygen resupply and boost the station to higher or lower orbits. If necessary we can perform also debris avoidance manoeuvres,” said Mike Steinkopf, the Mission Director who oversaw yesterday’s ingress, in an email. Mike also added, “This finishes a long shift on console in ATV-CC. Handover is done to our colleagues for a hopefully quite follow-on shift!” 🙂

Click on ‘continue reading below’ to read more details on ingress from NASA’s on-orbit daily update report.

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 02/25/11

Flight Engineers Kaleri & Nespoli focused most of their work today on accessing the newly arrived European ATV-2 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 2), docked at the SM (Service Module) aft port:

  • Nespoli reviewed an OBT (Onboard Training) drill covering ATV APO (Attached Phase Operations) procedures to refresh his proficiency for ingress
  • Both conducted the one-hour leak check on the SM PrK (Transfer Tunnel)/ATV vestibule (timing critical at 10:39am EST)
  • Alex & Paolo installed the BZV quick-release screw clamps of the SSVP docking mechanism,
  • Oleg sampled the air with the Russian AK-1M and Draeger IPD-CO sampling equipment,
  • Alex installed & started the Russian air cleaner to scrub the ATV atmosphere (~11:00am; timing critical because the scrubbing may take up to 8 hrs), followed later by
  • Paolo completing final Ingress (wearing dust respirator & vacuum cleaner) with Oleg repeating air samplings.

Time-sequenced with Oleg’s AK-1M sampling, Scott Kelly used the US GSC (Grab Sample Container) equipment to collect air samples in the centre of the ATV.