Green to go: ATV-5 in nominal orbit

Quick update from the mission director here at ATV-CC: After today’s successful, if a little sad, undocking, ATV Georges Lemaître is in nominal status, in free-flight orbit beneath and ahead of the ISS. The vessel is functioning as expected, and the team here will maintain it more or less as is until tomorrow’s reentry manoeuvres (we’ll update the blog timeline a bit later with details). Ground controllers will conduct a few minor in-flight procedures, including one Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM – What’s a SADM?) cleaning. Tomorrow’s reentry activities for the operations teams start at 12:29 CET, with impact expected around 19:12 CET. More details to follow.

ATV-5 undocks from Space Station

One of the last views of the International Space Station from ATV Georges Lemaître’s docking camera as it left the Station. As the Sun was behind Earth at the time of undocking at 14:42 CET neither ATV...


#ESAHangout – ATV-5 Mission Director Kris Capelle

REPLAY: Watch our live #ESAHangout with ATV-5 mission director Kris Capelle, which ran ~11:52-12:00 CET today. Hosted by human spaceflight editor Julien Harrod (in the red #ATV4 ball cap!). Audio is fine; video low-resolution only due to...

Massimo Cislaghi Credit: ESA

There is no routine: Mission manager final report

ATV-5 mission manager Massimo Cislaghi sent this yesterday evening to the entire ATV team and agreed to share it with us here in the blog. Whoever might have dared say that ATVs were not perfectly designed has...

Orbital elements for ATV5 after undocking

For keen astronomers who wish to spot ATV in flight after undocking today: here is the TLE! 1 40103U 14044A   15045.60004630  .00000000  00000-0  12750-3 0  0006 2 40103 051.6471 336.2579 0014345 322.0611 311.8677 15.57261553 00004

Current ATV-5 Hatch configuration, 29 August 2014. Credit: ESA/NASA

ATV hatch closing – video

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti working with Russian cosmonaut Sasha Samokutyaev to close the ATV-5 hatch on 13 February 2015. Credit: ESA/NASA As seen via NASA TV As monitored at ATV-CC Toulouse (no audio)

Interior of ATV5 ready for undocking Credit: ESA/NASA

Update on ATV close-out

This sent in earlier this afternoon by ATV Cargo Operations Engineer Colleen Boggs at ATV-CC. This morning the ISS commander loaded the last bag into ATV – there is not much space left, they packed in tons (literally)!...

Charlotte Beskow Credit: ESA

ATV-5: getting ready to go

The ESA, CNES and industrial support teams at ATV-CC are hard at work today preparing the vehicle for departure from the ISS tomorrow. ESA’s Charlotte Beskow, taking a short break from her work as part of the...


Watch the last ATV undocking live

(Scroll below the video windows for regular blog updates) Watch live from Saturday 14:00 CET courtesy of French space agency CNES (transmission in French). Watch live from Saturday 14:15 CET courtesy of NASA TV (transmission in English).

ATV teams preparing for undocking

A quick pic from ATV-CC today, showing the ESA and CNES mission control teams in the main control room configuring the ATV-5 cargo ship for tomorrow’s undocking. Separation from the ISS is set for 14:44 CET, 14 February.  


ATV-5 is GO for undocking

Update just received from Jean-Michel Bois, head of the ESA operations team at ATV-CC. The ISS Mission Management Team (IMMT) has given the GO for ATV5 undocking. The decision comes after a final check was performed with the ISS authorities and our International Partners on 12 February. The IMMT, the ‘ISS management board’, verifies before arrival or departure of each visiting vehicle the readiness of all ISS partners (NASA, RSC-E, JAXA, CSA and ESA) and ISS teams (operations, crew, engineering team, &etc.) and ensures that all ISS and vehicle activities and safety matters have been reviewed and are compatible with the specific planned event. Yesterday, the ESA Operations team at AT-CC Toulouse presented...

Undocking/reentry timeline 13-15 Feb

Timeline is based on the latest info provided by ATV-CC Toulouse and will be updated in real time between now and Sunday. If any specific event should change by just a few minutes, we may not get a moment to update this and we’ll let you know via Twitter (you do follow @esaoperations in Twitter, don’t you?). All times GMT Friday 13 Feb By 16:00 ATV Flight dynamics team complete final undocking & reentry predictions 10:27 ATV-CC – Start configuring ATV for egress, undock & flight, without the failed PDC4 chain 12:45 Initialise on board GPS settings 15:10 – 18:00 Start of egress activities for crew. This includes:Remove surplus equipmentClose-out photos/video of...

ATV-5 ready for final tasks and undocking

Just in from ATV Control Centre, ATV-5 is ready for its final tasks and undocking on Saturday. All the air, water and fuel that it took with it from Earth has been transferred to the International Space Station. By weight the spaceraft is leaving with almost as much Station waste as it had in dry cargo when it arrived in August. The trash that Georges Lemaître will take with it has been loaded and balanced to keep its centre of mass known. Details below: General Status ·      All cargo loaded and balanced ·      Standard steep reentry on 15 February,  instead of shallow reentry ·      ATV-CC nominal....

Issue on ATV-5 power chain number 4

Jean-Michel Bois from the ATV Control Centre shares the operations perspective on yesterday’s decision to go for a normal ATV-5 reentry: On Tuesday 3 February, ATV’s onboard software detected an anomaly on power chain 4. According to its protocol, it isolated the full chain: the rechargeable battery 4, the equipment managing the power chain (called Power Control and Distribution Unit or PCDU) and all elements of the ATV subsystem connected to this power line. The ATV is designed to be robust to such a failure, one power chain isolation has no impact on ATV’s function, but obviously several subsystem redundancies were switched off (one of two videometers, one of two GPS transceivers,...

ATV’s not over ’til it’s over

Diary from a Space Project: ATV-5  10 Feb 2015 This report provided this afternoon by ESA’s Charlotte Beskow, at ATV-CC, reporting on the ESA and CNES team activities and giving details on the decision to perform a standard reentry on 15 February. The mission is drawing to a close… but it’s still not over !!! Working with ATV is a bit like being on a roller coaster… Friday, 6 February As mentioned last week, we simulated ATV undocking with (only) three out of four power chains functional. The simulation went well and the teams are now using the data from that exercise to prepare for Saturday’s (real) undocking. In parallel, the expert...

Checking twice

Last week, the last of the optical windows were installed and the DC-8 aircraft was taken to the tarmac for communication tests. Experts from NASA Ames and the SETI Institute called the ATV Control Centre, Toulouse, France, who then called back to confirm links worked both ways. In tests coordinated by ESA’s Laurent Arzel, it was confirmed that the aircraft can communicate over the INMARSAT and Iridium satelite networks by voice and internet. Details via the ATV5 Reentry Campaign website.

ATV-4 reentry in 2013. Credits: ESA/NASA

ATV-5 reentry observation campaign

The ATV vessels deliver, amongst many other valuable items, scientific equipment to the ISS. But that’s not their only value to orbital research. On 27 February, during the reentry of ATV-5, the cargo vessel will contribute a...

A complex vehicle: Update on ATV-5 power issue

This report sent in by Charlotte Beskow late this afternoon, detailing activities around the power issue that affected ATV earlier this week. Staying on the safe side Another interesting day in the office. The main objective of the day was to run a simulation  of the undocking sequence with one power chain failed, i.e. representative of the situation we have today. The simulation at ATV-CC in Toulouse started at 08:00 CET; after the  the usual difficulties with getting started (initialising the correct configuration, representative of the current vehicle status), activating consoles and environments in the backup control room (completely separate from the nominal one), the simulation proceeded smoothly. Both the Flight Control...