The joint ESA/CNES mission operations team at ATV-CC are watching closely this evening as ATV-5 is paced through three manoeuvres designed to bring it even further behind (and below) the ISS. These are (name, planned delta-v, start time):

  • TB1 3.70m/s 18:56 CEST
  • TB2 8.48 m/s 19:44 CEST
  • TB3 2.87 m/s 20:34 CEST

ESA mission director Thomas Beck adds:

ATV-5 is already behind and above the ISS. By lowering its altitude via the three TB manoeuvres to below the Station orbit, it will change the drift direction and approach the ISS from behind. Once close enough, the TV manoeuvres (there are three planned) will bring ATV to the hold point S-2 (170 km behind) from where the rendezvous operations will start.

Later tomorrow morning, ATV will end up at the S-1/2 Waypoint, located about 49km behind (and below) the ISS around 11:21 CEST tomorrow.