[amsat-bb] Jules Verne boosts ISS orbit
uschndr at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Wed Apr 30 00:34:28 PDT 2008
>From ESA Portal http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html
ATV demonstrated its ability to raise orbit of ISS
Jules Verne boosts ISS orbit
25 April 2008
ESA's Jules Verne ATV was used for the first time early this morning
to raise the orbit of the International Space Station. A 740-second
burn of the Automated Transfer Vehicle's main engines successfully
lifted the altitude of the 280-tonne Station by around 4.5 km to a
height of 342 km above the Earth's surface.
After the ATV Control Centre (ATV-CC) in Toulouse, France, had
'woken up' Jules Verne ATV, the manoeuvre started at 06:22 CEST
(04:22 GMT) this morning and provided a 2.65 m/s thrust using two of
the ATV's four main engines. Controllers at ATV-CC closely monitored
ATV's subsystems throughout the long manoeuvre.
"The Station's altitude naturally decreases with atmospheric drag.
Until now this has been compensated for by performing a re-boost
using the Russian Progress, the Space Shuttle or by the ISS itself,"
explains Alberto Novelli, ESAs Mission Director at ATV-CC. "Today,
ATV has successfully demonstrated that it too is able to perform
this vital function. Only Progress and ATV can provide this high
level of re-boost. ATV is unique due to the quantity of fuel
available for such manoeuvres."
The re-boost manoeuvre comes just three weeks after Jules Verne ATV
successfully docked with ISS on 3 April 2008 delivering 1150 kg of
dry cargo, including food, clothes and equipment, as well as
additional supplies of water, oxygen and fuel. Since then, the
European ISS resupply spacecraft has been in dormant mode attached
to the docking port on the Russian Zvezda module.
Today's re-boost sets up the International Space Station for the
arrival of Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-124 mission to deliver
the Japanese Kibo laboratory. STS-124 is currently targeted for
launch on 31 May 2008. Further re-boost manoeuvres using ATV are
scheduled for 12 June, 8 July and 6 August.
Jules Verne ATV is scheduled to remain docked to the International
Space Station until early August. At the end of its mission, Jules
Verne, loaded with up to 6.5 tonnes of material no longer required
by the ISS, will undock and then burn up completely during a guided
and controlled re-entry high over the Pacific Ocean.
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