by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Sept 27, 2012
The undocking of a supply craft from the International Space Station (ISS) will take place Friday after a three-day delay, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.
The robot freighter should have separated from the ISS on Tuesday, the first step towards a suicide plunge over the South Pacific.
But the operation was postponed because the astronauts sent the craft a wrong identification code, which prevented a datalink from being established, it said.
"Departure of ATV-3 from the ISS is now planned for 28 September, around 2015 GMT," ESA said Thursday on its blog for the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
Named after a 20th-century Italian physicist, the Edoardo Amaldi is the third of five ATVs that ESA is providing as a partner in the ISS project.
The craft, each the size of a London double-decker bus, are designed to make one-way trips to the space station, which currently has three people on board.
They haul up tonnes of food, water, air, equipment and other supplies, navigating their way by the position of the stars and docking automatically.
The ATVs then use onboard engines to provide occasional boosts to the ISS, whose altitude drops because it is in low orbit and dragged by lingering atmospheric molecules.
At the end of their trip, laden with rubbish and human waste, the ATVs detach and several days later burn up in a controlled destruction over the ocean.
After fixing the datalink problem, mission managers scheduled a new departure time for the Edoardo Amaldi for late Thursday, the ESA blog said.
But this was scrapped amid worries that the ISS would have to do an emergency manoeuvre to avoid a dangerous piece of space debris -- a shard of an Indian rocket.
Later analysis showed the debris would comfortably miss the ISS, so the undocking was postponed for a second time, to Friday.
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
ATV undocking postponed
Paris (ESA) Sep 27, 2012
The undocking of ATV-3 from the International Space Station late last night was postponed due to an incorrect command. During operations ATV-3 performed perfectly in line with its pre-defined measures. A new attempt to undock will likely be made on Thursday, pending approval by the board of the Station management team this afternoon. Meanwhile, ATV Edoardo Amaldi is safe and in a dormant m ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. 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 Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|