Now that Jules Verne is docked and in operation at the ISS, we're signing off from the Jules Verne ATV Blog! We've had a fantastic time reporting for ESA's blog from ESOC in Germany, ESTEC in The Netherlands, and - of course - ATV-CC in Toulouse, France.
We'd like to thank everyone at ESA, CNES and the industry teams who took time to answer our questions, especially the men and women on the ATV project team and on the mission control team. We'd also like to thank everyone who visited our blog - and especially those who posted a comment, a query or a message.
ISS astronauts did the final ATV hatch opening at about 10:30 CEST (08:30
UT) this morning, clearing the way to start unloading
Jules Verne’s cargo. We spoke with Alberto Novelli at ATV-CC afterwards, and he was quite positive:
"Everyone here is really pleased with how operations have gone so far, both in space and on the ground. It's a great moment to watch the astronauts going in to ATV - everyone here is happy. Now we will continue to monitor progress."
Back from ATV-CC again. The air scrubber has been installed and is running... so the crew must have been inside ATV. The hatch will be closed again now whilst the scrubber does its job. Final hatch opening is scheduled for tomorrow morning at around 10:00 CEST (08:00 UT), although as always, that time is subject to change!
At 12:17 CEST (10:17 UT) word was received that the ISS crew had opened the hatches between ISS and ATV. There was a gap in the Russian communications at the time the hatch opening was performed - when the communication came back online, the crew reported they had opened the hatches. First ingress should follow shortly after air sampling has been performed.
Now that Jules Verne is part of the Space Station... it's time to get the hatch open. I was just over in the ATV Control Centre to find out the latest news. Hatch opening operations are set to get underway at 11:25 CEST (09:25 UT). Ingress should follow at 12:10 CEST (10:10 UT). Today's ingress is only partial. The crew will leave a so-called 'air scrubber' running inside ATV to clean the air of any gasses or small debris particles before final ingress on Saturday morning. More later!
"It was absolutely amazing ... it was absolutely fantastic." - A quick mp3 audio statement from ESA's John Ellwood, ATV Project Manager, who was (also) interviewed by Maria yesterday shortly after docking.
"A wonderful achievement - we are all really happy because the team performed extremely well" - A quick mp3 audio statement from ESA's Alberto Novelli, head of operations here at ATV-CC, who was interviewed by Maria yesterday shortly after docking.