Quick comment on a mission update sent last week by the ATV operations team in Toulouse: the ESA and CNES engineers are already involved in developing & testing the ground segment for ATV-4!
Albert Einstein is planned for an Ariane launch in early 2013, and the Toulouse team will conduct a crucial ‘SVT’ — system validation test — this week on 19 July.
The test will see live telemetry and telecommands being sent to/from ATV-4 (sitting at an Astrium facility in Bremen, Germany) via NASA’s TDRS data relay satellites and ESA’s Artemis relay mission.
Needless to say, it’s a challenge to keep these test signals separate from the real, live telecommands that must be sent during the same time frame to ATV-3 in orbit with the ISS! (We’ll get an update later in the week on SVT progress…)
ATV-3 status as of 13 July; courtesy ATV-CC
CARGO and FUEL STATUS
- Cargo status : 100% transferred
- Accepted trash : 592 kg so far
- Air status : 100% transferred, tank empty
- Oxygen status : no transfer so far
- Water : 280 litres, transfer completed
- Fuel : 100% transferred, ATV tanks empty
- Propellant status : around 2140 kg used, around 1917 kg available for ISS reboost & attitude control
Upcoming operations (dates, as always, subject to change):
17 July: Soyuz 31S docking, ISS attitude change (no ATV propulsion support)
17 July: **Reboost manoeuvre No. 6 — alternate slot on 19 July
19 July: ATV-4 System Validation Test 1 (SVT1) — alternate slot on 20 July
Note**: Reboost No. 6 is set for the night from 17 to 18 July; start set for 03:16 UT