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 of performing ISS reboost and refuelling.
ESA’s Head of the Space Transportation Department Nico Dettmann replies to the first point:
The five ATVs have paid ESA’s obligations in the ISS programme until 2017. It has been decided to discontinue ATV, but to develop the MPCV-ESM (European Service Module) for NASA to compensate for ESA’s ISS obligations until 2020. This decision provides a European exploration perspective beyond low-Earth orbit, while building on ATV heritage.