We spoke earlier this afternoon ago with ESA’s Jean-Christophe Ronnet, who worked on console during today’s burn in the Mission Director’s chair at ATV Control Centre, Toulouse, France.
As we reported yesterday, the reboost comprised a single burn using the ATV’s Orbit Correction System and it ran a bit longer than the planned 243 seconds. The boost used 79.6 kg of fuel, and was intended to provide an increase in speed for the Station of around 0.6 m/second and increase its height by 1 km (the flight dynamics teams are doing an analysis to determine the actual performance).
While the operation from the ATV-CC point of view was not very complex, Jean-Christophe says the reboost was a team effort. At ATV-CC, the activity involved operations teams from ESA and CNES, as well as ESA’s ATV programme Engineering Support Team. As always, additional teams working on flight dynamics, software support and a number of other crucial areas were also involved. “The next ATV reboost is now being planned, but this depends on the launch date of Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-134 mission,” says Jean-Christophe.
ATV Flight Director Burkhard Jelineck also sent in a note: “Future reboost dates, as Jean-Christophe mentioned, depend on the actual Shuttle lunch date, but the earliest possible is 2 June, with a speed increase of 6 metres/second – ten times more than today’s. Later in June, there should be a reboost – in fact a ‘bi-boost’ – of 11 m/s.” (Bi-boost refers to two separate thruster burns.)
As an aside, there is an excellent write-up in the NASA web pages on the overall topic of Station reboosts – and highlighting the crucial role of ATV and the other vessels that dock to the ISS (thanks, @Space_Pete, for the link). We’ll provide a more detailed post on this topic in the near future.
Meco on the ISS! A Space Tweep Society patch floats in front of the cupola of the International Space Station. The patch features the society’s mascot, named ‘Meco’ (named after the acronym MECO – or Main Engine Cut-Off). Photo courtesy of @Astro_Ron (Ron Garan) via Flying Jenny