Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SPACEMART
ATV Johannes Kepler Operating Flawlessly

Arianespace's Historic Ariane 5 Launch Is Photographed From Space
A remarkable photo was taken by European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the International Space Station just minutes after Ariane 5's liftoff with its Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) payload on February 16. The image shows Ariane 5's rising exhaust trail while the launcher was still in its initial vertical trajectory following an on-time departure from the Spaceport at 6:50 p.m., moments after sunset in French Guiana. Its trail can be seen as a thin streak framed just beneath the International Space Station's remote manipulator arm.
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Feb 18, 2011
Following a spectacular launch on 16 February, Europe's space freighter is now in its planned orbit. Mission controllers are preparing to match its trajectory with that of the International Space Station, where it will dock seven days from now.

After a one-day launch delay, ESA's next Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Johannes Kepler, lifted-off yesterday on an Ariane 5 launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 21:50 GMT. A few minutes later, the vessel attained its initial operational orbit at 260 km altitude.

Mission controllers immediately began checking out the spacecraft and ensuring that programmed sequences - including deployment of ATV's four large solar wings - had correctly taken place.

In-flight communication via relay satellites
ATV has established communications with its control centre in Toulouse, France, sending data and information via NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, a constellation of satellites that provides full-time communications with the International Space Station.

Flight dynamics experts on the joint ESA-CNES (French space agency) team in the control centre also carried out the first orbit determination, precisely fixing ATV's position and trajectory in space.

This was done initially using the on-board startrackers and later via GPS satellite signals.

This information is being used to plan and conduct the first of a series of 'phasing manoeuvres'. This complex set of thruster burns will start raising ATV's altitude to that of the Station, currently about 350 km. By 24 February, ATV will be just 30 km behind the Station.

"We had an excellent orbit injection thanks to Ariane, and the spacecraft itself is performing flawlessly. With the one-day launch delay, docking with the ISS is now set for one day later than initially planned, now on 24 February," said ESA's Alberto Novelli, Head of the ATV Operations Division.

Arrival at ISS set for 24 February
In 2008, after the launch of the first ATV, Jules Verne, the vessel spent almost three weeks performing a series of test manoeuvres to prove its automated docking system worked as expected.

"This time, we have a proven spacecraft and an experienced team, so we'll get up to Station in just about a week," said Alberto.

Operating ATV requires an extended 'team of teams' spread around several establishments across Europe.

In addition to ESA and CNES personnel at the Toulouse centre, ESA specialists at the Agency's ESTEC technical centre, in the Netherlands, and at ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre, Germany, are supporting the mission.

ESA's Columbus Control Centre, near Munich, jointly staffed by ESA and DLR, the German Aerospace Center, is also involved in ATV operations, as are numerous experts from the industrial partners that build ATV.

"ATV is a truly European spacecraft. Flying it requires experts from ESA, partner agencies and industry across half a dozen countries," said ESA's Bob Chesson, Head of the Human Spaceflight Operations Department.

"Getting it built, into orbit and operating it in flight to docking requires a lot of hard work and dedication from hundreds of people."



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
ATV 2 at ESA
Arianespace
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


SPACEMART
European supply ship en route to space station
Kourou, French Guiana (AFP) Feb 17, 2011
A European rocket blasted off Wednesday bearing a 20-tonne supply ship destined for a rendezvous with the manned International Space Station. The super-charged Ariane 5 ES rocket departed from Kourou, French Guiana, just shy of 2151 GMT after an initial attempt the day before was scratched at the last minute due to a minor technical glitch with the fueling system. The liftoff had to take ... read more







SPACEMART
SpaceX to focus on astronaut capsule

ILS Appoints Vice President Of Sales Marketing And Communications

Ariane 5's Mission With The Automated Transfer Vehicle Is Postponed

Ariane 5 Ready For Launch Of Automated Transfer Vehicle Johannes Kepler

SPACEMART
Experiment volunteers take 2nd 'walk on Mars'

Advanced NASA Instrument Gets Close-up On Mars Rocks

Good Health Report After Hiatus In Communications

Walking On Mars

SPACEMART
84 Student Teams Set to Roll At 18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Google Lunar X Prize Roster Reaches 29 Teams

Waiter, There's Metal In My Moon Water

Japan eyes humanoid robot mission in space

SPACEMART
Can WISE Find The Hypothetical Tyche In Distant Oort Cloud

Theory: Solar system has another planet

Launch Plus Five Years: A Ways Traveled, A Ways To Go

Mission To Pluto And Beyond Marks 10 Years Since Project Inception

SPACEMART
'Wandering' planets may have water, life

Back To The Roots Of The Solar System

Kepler Triples ExoPlanet Count As Search For Biosphere 2 Intensifies

Direct Images Of Disks Unravel Mystery Of Planet Formation

SPACEMART
University of Ulster Launches Rocket Project with Japan Space Agency

ATK And Astrium Unveil Liberty Rocket For NASA CCDev-2 Competition

Renewed Call For Competitive US Spaceflight Marketplace

Rocket Team Hot Fire AJ26 Flight Engine For Taurus II

SPACEMART
China Mars probe set for November launch

Shenzhou 8 Mission Could Top Three Weeks

U.S. wary of China space weapons

Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts

SPACEMART
NASA Releases Images Of Man-Made Crater On Comet

Spectacular Flyby Of Comet Tempel 1 Tests Lockheed Built Spacecraft

NASA'S Stardust Spacecraft Completes Comet Flyby

NASA spacecraft unravels comet mystery


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement