Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Successful Late Access Loading Test For Jules Verne

Date:
March 6, 2005
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
For the first time last month, technicians at ESA's research centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, including an ESA astronaut, entered inside the vertically positioned Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Jules Verne, in order to simulate the late loading of cargo bags.

Artist's impression of the Automated Transfer Vehicle approaching the International Space Station. In combination with ESA's new Ariane 5, the 20.5 t, 8.5 m-long Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will enable Europe to transport cargo to the International Space Station. This new vehicle, scheduled for its initial test flight in September 2004, can carry 9 tonnes of scientific equipment, general supplies, water, oxygen and propellant.
Credit: s: ESA - D.Ducros

For the first time last month, technicians at ESA's research centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, including an ESA astronaut, entered inside the vertically positioned Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Jules Verne, in order to simulate the late loading of cargo bags.

An identical operation will be performed for real one week before the first ATV launch on top of an Ariane 5 launcher, from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in 2006.

“This first late access dress rehearsal has been successful and has proved that it is possible to place an operator inside the vertically positioned bus-size Cargo Carrier and load small cargo units - thanks to a retractable mechanism placed inside the ATV - through the opened hatch of the ATV docking system mechanism”, said Dominique Siruguet, an ESA engineer in charge of ATV operations at the French Guiana European launch site.

Dry cargo

The ATV is able to carry between 1500 and 5500 kg of dry cargo to the International Space Station. Contained in bags of different sizes, the cargo will be stored in the 48 m3- pressurized section of ATV. Most of this ISS re-supply cargo will be loaded horizontally through the large opening at the aft end of the pressurized module, opposite the docking system at the front end. At this stage, the ATV service module, housing the avionics and the propulsion system, is not yet mated to the pressurized cargo section.

To add some flexibility in the re-supply capability of the ATV, a small fraction of the dry cargo can be loaded into the ATV just eight days before launch when the spaceship is undergoing final launch preparations on top of the 50-metre Ariane 5, just before being enclosed in its white aerodynamically-shaped fairing. Horizontal platform

For this delicate operation, a crew of seven technicians will install a horizontal platform around the cone of the vertically positioned ATV. They will slowly open the 75-kg docking mechanism, which rotates twice down in the pressurized module so as to give free access through the 80-cm diameter hatch.

Through the vertical opening, an operator is carried down into the 5-metre deep ATV Cargo Carrier on a retractable platform, which is much like a one-person lift without sidewalls. A mini-crane then carries down - through the hatch - bags of different sizes that are neatly tied down with an adjustable belt into modular storage cargo elements, or “racks”, which look like metal shelving.

Safety

For the inaugural flight of Jules Verne ATV, four white bags of 14 kg each, filled with a variety of products, such as fresh fruit, videos, clothes or family mail, will be loaded during this late access operation, which can be conducted in one day. In fact, the entire dry cargo could be loaded in this way, but for operational reasons, it is restricted to a small quantity to minimize the impact on the Ariane 5 launch preparations.

To comply with the Europe’s Spaceport safety requirements, operators who go inside the ATV must constantly wear a harness. The test has also shown that the ATV can be evacuated within 10 minutes in case of an emergency. Comfortable

“The Swiss made hardware, which lowers down the operator and the Cargo Transfer Bags inside the ATV, worked beautifully. It was very comfortable and easy to carry down the bags and fix them safely in all rack locations”, said ESA astronaut Jean-Franηois Clervoy, the senior advisor to the ATV programme, and one of the two operators who performed the successful late access test on Jules Verne. “It was a great feeling to enter the spacious ATV cabin, the first spaceship built in Europe, whilst it was positioned vertically”, added the three-time Space Shuttle veteran astronaut.

The maiden flight of Jules Verne ATV, scheduled for 2006, will be the first rendezvous and docking of a European spacecraft in orbit and also the first European re-supply mission to the Space Station.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Successful Late Access Loading Test For Jules Verne." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224120932.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2005, March 6). Successful Late Access Loading Test For Jules Verne. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224120932.htm
European Space Agency. "Successful Late Access Loading Test For Jules Verne." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224120932.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

NASA (July 25, 2014) — Apollo 11 celebration, Next Giant Leap anticipation, ISS astronauts appear in the House and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) — One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

Newsy (July 25, 2014) — Researchers say if Earth had been a week earlier in its orbit around the sun, it would have taken a direct hit from a 2012 coronal mass ejection. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) — The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins