Based on interviews with ESA, Stephen Clark over at SpaceFlightNow.com has posted an excellent update on the status of ATV-5, highlighting some of the mission’s most interesting points, including its cargo and the planned demonstration of a new rendezvous system.
Nearly ready for a dual mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and conduct technological experiments for future space projects, Europe’s final automated resupply spacecraft is set for liftoff the last week of July after a previous commercial Ariane 5 rocket launch was postponed by a problem with an Australian telecommunications satellite.
Access full article via SpaceflightNow.com
We want to pass along a couple of minor updates to Stephen’s article sent in by ESA’s Massimo Cislaghi, the ATV-5 Mission manager, who mentioned:
“If launch occurs July 25, the ATV will dock with the space station Aug. 12” –> Actually, we will dock on 12 Aug even if the launch is somewhat postponed.
“The laser lidar sensor will be tested during the ATV’s final approach on docking day” –> Also the IR camera will be tested during docking day.