A slight change to today's timeline has just been issued: Contact of ATV's docking probe is expected at 16:40 CEST (14:40 UT), with full capture scheduled at 17:14 CEST (15:14 UT). These times are 1 minute earlier than previously published both here in the blog and in the ESA Web portal; we'll update the web shortly. The guys here both with ESA media relations and from the mission control team emphasize that all of today's times are subject to change (details after the jump). -- Daniel
I spoke yesterday with ESA's Kris Capelle, one of the four mission directors from the Agency here at ATV-CC. Kris will be 'on console' today as Mission Director for the docking - together with Hervé Côme - and he took some time to describe who's who on the various console positions.
Hervé will sit in ESA's Mission Director (MD)'s position on the early shift looking after rendezvous until Jules Verne reaches station-keeping point S3 (249 m from ISS), planned for 15:15 CEST. Then, he'll hand over to Kris, who will sit as MD for the rest of the day, including final approach, contact and capture, with contact due at 16:40 CEST and capture (closing of the hooks in the Russian module's docking port around the Jules Verne docking probe) due at 17:14 CEST. More details after the jump... (Note: there's been a slight change in planned times for today's RDV & docking - this post contains the correct times and we'll get a full update published shortly.) -- Daniel
Here is an interesting preview of what is scheduled to happen today, generated from the ATV simulation tool; it shows - in a compressed time-line - ATV making its rendezvous with the ISS, closing with the Russian module, and then finally docking.
The data used to generate the video is not from actual manoeuvres, but the video does nevertheless give a very good visualisation of Jules Verne's movements later today.
Access full video links under 'Full story' -- Daniel
Access the most recent RDV & docking time-line in the ESA web portal at the link below; the key times (all subject to change) are listed here under 'Full story'. - Daniel
Great news! Just a while ago, Jules Verne was cleared for tomorrow's docking attempt by the ISS MIssion Management Team (IMMT). This was the formal authorisation for which the team here was waiting and it means that ATV has met all safety and other requirements for rendezvous and docking. Read the full report on the ESA Web portal here.
"We have proven that Jules Verne's systems are safe, reliable and ready to dock to the Station. Everyone has worked very hard to get to this point, and we have also proven that the team on the ground is fully ready for tomorrow's first attempt," said John Ellwood, ESA's ATV Project Manager.
Earlier today, Maria spoke with Alberto Novelli, head of the ESA team here at the ATV Control Centre (ATV-CC) in Toulouse, and asked him a series of questions on the current status of Jules Verne and on what the mission control team anticipates for tomorrow's first rendezvous and docking attempt. Click through 'Full story' to access a link to this excellent video interview. -- Daniel
We're sitting in the viewing room to the back of the ATV Control Centre this afternoon. It's a whole lot quieter in the control room today compared to this time yesterday, but that probably isn't a surprise. As I write Jules Verne is passing over Asia. Everything going to plan here - some orbital manoeuvres and check-outs of the spacecraft.
We were also just treated to a play back of the HD recording made inside Zvezda yesterday showing the ISS crew during the demo - I took a few photos to share the moment... (click through for a couple more)
Full story »
The clip was prepared using telemetry data generated during the joint simulation training on 1 February, which was then fed into a sophisticated simulation tool.
This video gives an extremely faithful visualisation of what actually happened as ATV closed in on the Station on 31 March. Click on 'Full story' for details and to access video links. -- Daniel