8 March 2012 ESA’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle, scheduled for launch on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 23 March, is planned to dock with the International Space Station five days later.
ATV-3 will automatically dock with the Station’s Russian Zvezda module during the night of 28–29 March. The precise time will be known after launch, which is set for 04:31 GMT (05:31 CET) on Friday, 23 March.
The flight of ATV-3 is part of the internationally coordinated servicing effort to support the International Space Station.
March 23 is targeted for Ariane 5’s heavy-lift mission with ATV Edoardo Amaldi[/size:146b57c434]
March 7, 2012 – Ariane Flight VA205
Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 flight for servicing of the International Space Station is now being targeted for a March 23 liftoff after the original timing was delayed to facilitate additional checks on Europe’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
The mission was postponed this month after a routine inspection concluded that further measures were necessary to maximize the launch readiness of ATV Edoardo Amaldi – which is named after the noted Italian physicist.
Lifting off from the Spaceport in French Guiana, this ATV will carry dry cargo (including food, clothing, experiments and spare parts), along with water, gas and propellant for delivery to the crewed orbital facility.
Arianespace’s mission – which utilizes an Ariane 5 ES version of the heavy-lift workhorse – follows ATV launches in February 2011 and March 2008. The ATV program is managed by the European Space Agency, with production of the spacecraft performed by an Astrium-led industry consortium.[/size:146b57c434]
As explained by an ESA ATV engineer, the REBR location inside ATV-3 during its re-entry will be different than on ATV-2, in order to ensure it does not fail to taka data. “The REBR on ATV-2 was hard-mounted to a rack adapter plate (the front plates on the racks that allow mounting of big M-01 bags). In addition, this adapter plate was located on one of the aft racks, thus closer to the propellant tanks.” “It is thought that this hard-mounted configuration prevented the REBR from ‘breaking free’ and, as a result, the REBR may have been damaged by the destructive force of the propulsion tanks rupturing/exploding during re-entry. For ATV-3, the REBR will be mounted once again to an adapter plate but this time it will be mounted with belts, and not hard mounted with bolts.”
REBR привязали ремнями подальше от баков с горючим.
Astrium is completing the mission preparation for the Automated Transfer Vehicle ATV-3. On March 23, 2012, the unmanned cargo resupply spacecraft named after the Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi will be launched on its five-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on board the European Ariane 5 ES launcher. Astrium is the industrial prime contractor for both the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and the Ariane 5 European launcher. This will be the third ATV mission to ferry supplies to the International Space Station. ATV could be currently considered as the ‘best spaceflight robot’ due to its innovative technologies which enable it to dock automatically with the ISS at about 28,000 km/h.
The Edoardo Amaldi ATV is currently awaiting transfer to the launch pad, having completed an extensive series of tests over the last few weeks. These included combined tests to check the interface between the launcher and ATV, verification of the air cleanliness in the cargo module, and pressure and leak tests. The Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) of the Edoardo Amaldi has been loaded to capacity with supplies for day-to-day use including food, clothing, toiletries, consumables, tools, medical supply packages, replacement parts and new experiments. Known as ‘dry cargo’, this constitutes a total weight of 2.2 tons. Around 1.6 tonnes of this dry cargo is the ‘nominal load cargo’, which is loaded onto the vehicle a few months before the launch, while the remaining 600kg—known as ‘late load cargo’—are added to the ATV just three weeks prior to launch. Late load cargo includes perishable items and experiments that can only be kept in storage for a limited time.
The ATV’s various tanks will carry more than four tons of propellants and gases to the International Space Station (the ATV total is more than six tons including propellant needed for its own journey). The propellants will be used for multiple purposes, including attitude control, maneuvering, and refuelling the ISS. The Edoardo Amaldi ATV will also transport 285kg of water and 100kg of oxygen to the ISS. With a take-off weight approaching 20 tons, the ATV-3 is one of the heaviest payloads ever carried into orbit by an Ariane launcher.
The 2.2 tons of cargo and 1,062 individual items are divided up into a total of 153 bags to enable the astronauts to unload the Edoardo Amaldi on a gradual basis, according to their requirements. One of the items the ATV-3 will be carrying is a new ventilator for the European Columbus laboratory. Regular replacement of this lab component is just one of the tasks undertaken by Astrium as part of the Exploitation Contract which was signed with ESA for the European components of the ISS. The Edoardo Amaldi ATV will also be carrying a whole series of new experiments to the ISS. For instance, the cargo includes a human biology experimental device which will investigate the body’s energy management processes under weightless conditions. This experiment will provide important insights which can be applied to future long-term missions in weightless conditions. In addition, the BIOLAB facility in the Columbus research laboratory will be equipped with a module which will make it possible to deliver precisely defined supplies of clean air to the experiments performed in the laboratory.
The ATV-3 payload will also include toothbrushes of different bristle hardness and toothpaste of various flavors as part of efforts to make the astronauts feel more at home on the ISS. One of the cargo bags will even contain LEGO® Technic sets, part of a range of experiments that NASA is conducting for a special series of lessons for school pupils back on Earth.
In Preparation for Launch, the Payload Fairing of the Ariane 5 Rocket was re-attached after corrective measures were taken to fix an issue related to one of the Cargo Bags Located inside Automated Transfer Vehicle 3. ... The launch date will be confirmed at the Launch Readiness Review set for Launch-3 Days.
Ariane 5 is readied for its ATV mission following reinstallation of the payload fairing[/size:3b92158fdc]
March 16, 2012 – Ariane Flight VA205
Arianespace’s Ariane 5 with its Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) payload is complete once again after reinstallation of the launcher’s payload fairing this week at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The activity follows additional inspections required inside the ATV cargo carrier, which was decided after the Ariane 5’s initial payload fairing encapsulation had been completed in late February. In order to enable this unplanned inspection – ordered by the mission’s European Space Agency customer – launch team members removed the payload fairing while the Ariane 5 remained inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building. It was followed by the fairing’s second integration after the inspections were completed.
The ATV, named after Italian physicist and spaceflight pioneer Edoardo Amaldi, is now undergoing final checkout for the March 23 launch on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Fitted with 6.6 metric tons of cargo, the ATV will serve as a resupply spacecraft and “tug” for the orbital station during several months.
In addition to a cargo composed of experiments, food, clothing, tools and spare parts, ATV Edoardo Amaldi also carries oxygen, air and water, along with propellants for its own propulsion systems and to refuel the International Space Station.
For the upcoming launch, Ariane 5’s total payload lift performance is 20,075 kg. – which includes 19,714 kg. for the ATV, making it the heaviest payload ever lofted by Arianespace’s workhorse launcher.
The ATV is a European Space Agency-led program, with the resupply spacecraft built by EADS’ Astrium business unit as the lead in a large European industrial consortium.
Coverage Set for European Cargo Delivery to Space Station
HOUSTON -- NASA Television will broadcast live the flight of the European Space Agency's third Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ship to the International Space Station. Coverage will begin with its launch on Thursday.
The 13-ton "Edoardo Amaldi" spacecraft, named in honor of the 20th-century Italian physicist who is regarded as one of the fathers of European spaceflight, will carry 7.2 tons of propellant, water and supplies to the six crew members aboard the orbital laboratory.
An Ariane 5 rocket that will place the cargo ship into orbit is scheduled to launch at 11:34 p.m. CDT on March 22 from the Arianespace launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. NASA TV's coverage of the launch will begin at 11 p.m.
Like two predecessors that flew to the station in 2008 and 2011, the Edoardo Amaldi will conduct a slow, methodical trek to the complex under the guidance of engineers at the Automated Transfer Vehicle Control Center in Toulouse, France. It automatically will dock to the aft port of the Russian Zvezda service module at 5:34 p.m. on March 28. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 4:45 p.m.
Edoardo Amaldi is expected to remain at the outpost through early September, when it will undock and be commanded to deorbit and burn up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
1555 GMT (11:55 a.m. EDT) Mounted on a mobile platform and riding dual rail tracks, an Ariane 5 rocket rolled to its launch pad in French Guiana on Wednesday morning, making the journey from its assembly building in about one hour.
Rollout from the final assembly building began at 1415 GMT (10:15 a.m. EDT; 11:15 a.m. French Guiana time) and concluded at 1530 GMT (11:30 a.m. EDT; 12:30 p.m. French Guiana time).
After reaching the launch pad, the rocket was supposed to be connected to ground utilities, including electrical and fueling systems. Workers at the South America launch site planned to fill the Ariane 5's helium pressurant system later Wednesday.
Launch is set for 0434 GMT (12:34 a.m. EDT; 1:34 a.m. French Guiana time) Friday.
The final countdown will begin Thursday at 1704 GMT (1:04 p.m. EDT), and a check of the launcher's electrical systems is scheduled for 2104 GMT (5:04 p.m. EDT), followed by configuring the rocket's core stage and Vulcain 2 engine for fueling.
At 2234 GMT (6:34 p.m. EDT), workers will prepare the launch pad for liftoff as the launch team loads the rocket's flight program into its computers, checks radio links between the vehicle and the Ariane launch base, and aligns the Ariane 5's navigation system for flight.
One hour later, at 2334 GMT (7:34 p.m. EDT), the pad crew will evacuate the ELA-3 launch zone before fueling of the Ariane 5 launcher gets underway. The rocket's first stage will be filled with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants during the countdown.
The Ariane 5's two strap-on boosters burn solid fuel, and storable hypergolic propellants were loaded aboard the launcher's upper stage earlier in March.
Chilldown of the first stage Vulcain engine is expected at about 0134 GMT (9:34 p.m. EDT).
Computers will assume control of the countdown 7 minutes before liftoff at 0427 GMT (12:27 a.m. EDT), managing a fast-paced series of events to pressurize the rocket's propellant tanks, switch the launcher to on-board power, arm its destruct system, and ignite its main engine.
Arianespace's third ATV launch for International Space Station servicing is given a “go” for liftoff[/size:9919708be6] March 20, 2012 – Ariane Flight VA205
The Ariane 5 launch of Europe’s no. 3 Automated Transfer Vehicle was given the green light today for a March 23 liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana on a servicing mission to the International Space Station.
Today’s approval came at the conclusion of a comprehensive Launch Readiness Review, which is performed before every Arianespace mission to review the “go” status of the launcher, its payload, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, and the network of ground tracking stations.
This clears the way for tomorrow’s rollout of the Ariane 5 from its Final Integration Building at the Spaceport to the facility’s ELA-3 launch site. The flight will mark another operational milestone for Arianespace, as its workhorse Ariane 5 will be carrying its heaviest payload ever – with the Automated Transfer Vehicle weighing more than 20 metric tons.
The no. 3 ATV is named after Italian physicist and spaceflight pioneer Edoardo Amaldi, and is carrying 6.6 metric tons of cargo for the International Space Station. In addition to serving as a resupply spacecraft, the ATV also will function as a “tug” while docked to the crewed orbital facility for up to six months.
Built for the European Space Agency by an Astrium-led industrial consortium, the cylinder-shaped ATV is nearly 10 meters long and 4.5 meters in diameter. In its launch configuration atop Ariane 5, the spacecraft is encapsulated in a 17-meter-tall payload fairing.
ATV Edoardo Amaldi’s liftoff is planned at 1:34 a.m. local time in French Guiana on March 23, with this precise timing required for the spacecraft’s orbital positioning to dock with the International Space Station.
The upcoming mission follows Arianespace’s launch of the first two ATVs, which were lofted by Ariane 5s in February 2011 and March 2008.
This cutaway drawing depicts ATV Edoardo Amaldi under the Ariane 5’s payload fairing.[/size:9919708be6]