Author Archives: julien

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Orion backstage with Tobias Fricke

Airbus quality engineer Tobias Fricke, discusses testing a structural representation of Orion’s service module at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Space Power Facility in Sandusky, USA. The service module is being built in Europe and is a critical...

Exploration Mission-1 video

This video shows the NASA’s first Orion mission profile using ESA’s service module. Exploration Mission-1 will go beyond the Moon and back. More info on the ESA website.  

From the Earth to the Moon book cover

A long way from Jules Verne

  As our blog is evolves from the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) into the Orion European Service Module, we were thinking of analogies to the service module’s function. Settling on ‘locomotive engine’, a member of ESA’s Orion...

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Replay of Orion – European Service Module press e...

åNASA Television broadcast a press event for the arrival of a full-size test version of ESA’s service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft at 17:30 GMT (18:30 CET) on Monday 30 November from NASA’s Plum Brook Station in...

Orion test ESM arriving in USA. Credits: NASA

Press event for arrival of test European Service Module...

NASA Television will broadcast an event for the arrival of a full-size test version of ESA’s service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft at 17:30 GMT (18:30 CET) on Monday 30 November from NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. Event...

New artist impressions of Orion with service module

NASA released new images of the Orion spacecraft, now with a shinier look. ESA will supply the service module for Orion based on ATV technology. The module sits directly below Orion’s crew capsule and provides propulsion, power,...

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From the cutting room floor

A year before the ATV programme came to an end, we made some videos featuring our favourite spacecraft. With valuable help from ESTEC’s cameraman intern, videos were shot and edited in the style of “10 things you...

ATV training for astronauts Credit: ESA

3D training the astronaut way

Astronaut teachers are always looking for ways to improve their training, and the International Training Control Board (ITCB) is looking for ways to reduce the time spent training astronauts on ground and replace it with efficient “On-Board...

ATV-5 departs the Station. Credits: NASA

ATV parking lights

This ATV blog is in the process of being archived and going into retirement but great questions are still coming in that we feel obliged to answer. In response to our “ATV-made in USA” post Marcin asked:...

Expedition 45 "Return of the Jedi" poster. Credits: NASA

A long time ago in our galaxy…

The ATV programme might be over, but the legend lives on. Our favourite X-Wing aircraft shows up in NASA’s Expedition 45 poster to the left of the green lightsaber held by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. This is...

ATV in numbers

Another great recap of the five ATV missions from France’s space agency CNES… in numbers. This infographic in French gives an impression of the scale of running a spacecraft programme, below is a rough translation, without the...

ATV Control Centre web documentary

Interactive book on ATV Control Centre

Our friends at France’s space agency CNES have published an excellent interactive book on ATV seen through the eyes of the ATV Control Centre. From the first signatures in 1995 to the last command sent, the web...

R-4D thruster. Credits: Aerojet

ATV: Made in America

Even though the last of the ATVs, Georges Lemaître, ended its mission last month we still have one more country to finish our ‘ATV-Made-in’ series: the United States of America. American company Aerojet supplied ATV’s large 490-N...

@BigArtimon “Georges Lemaitre up to Ottignies, Belgium sat. feb.14th 2015@18h11 TU”
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Last goodbyes: ATV-5 seen from Earth – a tribute ...

Update 2: Finally got round to posting everything today. Apologies for the delay. Due to overwhelming participation and the decision to give everybody a little something, we distributed the prizes randomly. Some will receive but an ATV-5...

Last screen shown at the ATV control centre before being switched off.

ATV forever

This was the last image shown on the ATV Control Centre’s main screen after the last reentry ever of an Automated Transfer Vehicle. The technology in ATV will go to space again in 2017 on NASA’s Orion...

ATV Control Centre just before deorbit boost.

Final deorbit boost complete

ATV Georges Lemaître has been sent towards Earth for its controlled reentry after completing its second and last deorbit burn. The 23.3-minute burn reduced the spacecraft’s speed by 322.56 km/h and set it heading for its fiery...

ATV Control Centre main screen showing ATV altitude top right.

First deorbit burn successful

Mission director Mike Steinkopf confirms ATV-5’s first deorbit burn: DEO1 successful with nominal performance of DV and duration DV 51.76 m/s nominal duration of 826.5 s ATV-5 fired its thrusters for almost 14 minutes to reduce its...

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ATV-5 undocking timelapse

This great timelapse was made from images taken by NASA’s Terry Virts while ESA’s Samantha Cristoforetti and Roscosmos cosmonaut Sasha Samokutyaev where monitoring ATV-5’s departure: