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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jules Verne and the International Space Station are ready for the encounter

Jules Verne Prepares For Demonstration Day 2 Before ISS Docking
Jules Verne and the International Space Station are ready for the encounter, the officials for the International Space Station announced at the end of the week. On Monday, ESA’s ATV will approach 11 meters of the International Space Station, on Demonstration Day 2.

After spending several days 2000 km from the ISS, Jules Verne ATV prepares for the docking that is scheduled for April 3rd at 15:30 CEST. After one successful first attempt, Jules Verne is considered capable of safely docking after using its GPS maneuvers.

“Having tested very successfully on Saturday the first part of the rendezvous, in particular using the relative GPS between that on Jules Verne and on the Russian Service Module of the ISS, we now have the go-ahead to test the second part of the rendezvous which uses the optical sensors,” said John Ellwood, ESA’s ATV Project Manager.

The two phases of the tests (Demonstration Day 1 and Demonstration Day 2) were intended to show that the Automated Transfer Vehicle is perfectly capable of safely executing the docking maneuvers without endangering the ISS and its crew.
At the end of Demonstration Day 1, the ATV was successfully sent away from the International Space Station through a command sent from the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse. On Monday March 31, the ATV will approach the ISS using its laser based optical system.

Twenty-four hours before the actual docking is set to take place on Thursday, the ISS Mission Management Team, together with its European partners, will decide whether the docking should take place as scheduled or should be postponed.

Both the European Space Agency and CNES (Centre National d’Etudes spatiales) in Toulouse will offer live images with mission updates and the docking from the ATV Control Centre at CNES in Toulouse, where they will also offer the latest information and data on the mission.

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