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TOPIC: Ariane5 ES-ATV


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RE: Ariane5 ES-ATV
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NASA Television coverage of the maiden launch of the European Space Agency's "Jules Verne" Automated Transfer Vehicle, or ATV, to the International Space Station will begin Saturday, March 8, at 9:15 p.m. CST.
Liftoff of the ATV on an Ariane 5 rocket is set for 10:03 p.m. CST from the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Television coverage originating from the launch site will be provided by ESA and Arianespace. The launch coverage will air live on NASA TV and will include supplementary coverage originating from NASA's Johnson Space Centre.
The ATV launch window is instantaneous. NASA TV will continue its coverage until ATV's solar arrays are deployed, about one hour and 36 minutes after launch.

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Arianespace and the European Space Agency confirm today that the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, is delayed 24 hours due to a technical concern about the ATV/Ariane 5 launcher separation system.
During the last validation step for the device which separates the 20-tonne European spacecraft from its launcher, a potential problem was identified with the fitting of the grounding straps located in the separation system. Today, after removal of the Ariane 5 fairing, this item will be checked again, consistent as always with the conservative and precautionary approach taken by ESA to its missions.
In order to maintain safe margins for the countdown, ESA and Arianespace decided to postpone the launch by one day. The Jules Verne launch is rescheduled for 00:59 Kourou time, 03:59 UTC, 04:59 CET on Sunday 9 March 2008.

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Shortly after its planned 8 March launch to the ISS, ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle will make the first-ever laser-guided docking in space. The vehicle's fully automated docking provides unique challenges to the multi-agency mission operations team at ESA's ATV Control Centre.

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Europe's 20-tonne supply ship for the International Space Station will have its maiden flight on Saturday 8 March.
The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will launch from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana at 04:25 GMT.

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With the launch of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle 'Jules Verne' rapidly approaching, ESA Programme managers and industry specialists participated in a media briefing at ESA Head Office in Paris, France, earlier today.
They presented an overview of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme and also took stock of the current status of the spacecraft and lead the Media through the upcoming phases: the launch, the journey to the International Space Station, the delicate manoeuvres up to docking and the complex operations related to this very challenging mission.




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Europe's ATV space truck has been cleared for fuelling, to make it ready for launch towards the end of February.
The vehicle, which will haul new supplies to the space station, will be loaded with some six tonnes of fuel before being mated with its rocket.
Flight managers will probably consider a firm launch date on 6 February.

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For the first time in 40 years of space activities, a silent revolution is taking place at the European launch site in Kourou. Jules Vernes, the first human-rated spacecraft to be launched from Europe's Spaceport, is being prepared for launch.
The 48 m pressurised module of the largest, most complex automated spacecraft ever developed in Europe has been inspected and closed, fulfilling the most stringent rules of human spaceflight.
Three days later, the two halves of the 20-tonne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) the avionics/propulsion module and the pressurised cargo carrier were mated ready for its launch, scheduled for February 2008, to re-supply the International Space Station (ISS).

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Jules Verne ATV given its 'wings'
The next time Jules Verne ATVs four solar arrays are fully deployed, giving the vehicle a total span of 22.3 m, will be in early 2008, at 28 000 km/h over the South Pacific Ocean. Just 100 minutes after lift-off, following separation from the Ariane 5 launcher, the x-shaped solar arrays will give the European vessel its characteristic dragonfly appearance.

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Engineers working on Europe's space station re-supply truck are aiming to have it ready for flight in February.
The European Space Agency had an early launch target of January, but the final assembly and fuelling sequence of the ATV is proving quite challenging.

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A successful re-ignition of the Ariane 5 upper stage engine performed during the most recent mission has consolidated Ariane 5's readiness for the launch of the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle.
The launch of ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which carries supplies to the International Space Station, will require multiple firings of the Ariane 5 ES upper stage engine. In this context, hundreds of re-ignition tests under various thermal conditions have been undertaken at the DLR Test Centre in Lampoldshausen to qualify the Aestus engine for several re-ignitions.

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