Update 14:41 CET

ESA’s Charlotte Beskow, working on console with the ATV-5 Engineering Support Team, just sent this in. The final hours… What can be done, has been done. The day shift has been on console since this morning, and the night shift has reappeared in the control room to follow the final hours. Most people are carrying cameras, 100% conscious of the fact that today will never be repeated. Right now the word ‘never’ has a special ring to it. – CB

ATV-5 ground track over Western Europe, 15 February 2015 - on its final orbit before reentry; ATV moves from left to right (West to east); times annotated in GMT. CET = GMT+1

Spotting ATV-5 Sunday evening

First: A sincere thank you to everyone who spotted ATV-5 last night, Saturday, 14 Feb, and shared their pictures during the last, best, overflight above Western Europe, between about 18:10-18:16 GMT. We saw some wonderful photos via...

Artists impression of ATV-5 breakup and reentry. Credits: ESA-D. Ducros

What happens on Earth when ATV reenters?

This is a repost of our 2013 interview with Holger Krag, head of ESA’s Space Debris Office, at ESOC,  ESA’s Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany, during the ATV-3 reentry. His description of the planning and precautions for...

First ATV, Jules Verne, undocking in 2008 Credit: ESA/NASA

European cargo ship departs Station for the final time

The fifth and final European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) undocked from the Zvezda Service Module at the International Space Station on 14 February, to conduct 30 hours of free flight prior to its deorbiting on...


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:  

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...

Got questions? We have answers

A repost of our update on 14 January: We saw a question yesterday in Twitter from someone, and now we can’t find the tweet. 🙁 But we did note down the query: .@esaoperations why won't there be more ATVs? What will replace their capabilities? Thanks. Regardless of their source, they’re good questions! ATV-5 Mission Manager Massimo Cislaghi replies to the second point: There no 1:1 replacement to the ATV, but rather there will be a redistribution of its capabilities among the rest of the ISS servicing fleet, i.e. Dragon, Cygnus (when back in operation), HTV and – of course – Progress, this last vehicle being to my knowledge the only one capable...


#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...

Meetings leading up to undocking

ESA’s Charlotte Beskow sends in this image diary of the meetings leading up to today: ATV-5 undocking: Feb 12 Thursday 9 am meeting to discuss actions to take before Saturday morning ESTL in action (Thierry Chaudot and...

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.