Monday, March 31, 2008

Jules Verne ATV tests ISS approach

On course for Wednesday docking, Jules Verne tests tight maneuvering near ISS

NASA The Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle is approaching the International Space Station today for its “Demo Day 2″ practice maneuvers. It will have moved to within 12 meters of the Zvezda Service Module in a rehearsal for docking on Thursday.

Jules Verne reached closest point to the station around 16:38 UT today, at which time it was commanded by the crew to retreat to a point 20 meters away. From there it executed an automated “escape” command, to depart the station for its three-day phasing prior to final approach and docking around 14:41 Thursday, April 3.

During its first approach Saturday, the ATV fired its engines several times to bring it approximately two miles from the station. Once in position, the Jules Verne conducted thruster firings and other systems tests before it pulled back into a phasing orbit.

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