NET 5 Feb for Progress, 8th for Atlantis, 22nd for Jules Verne?

by | Jan 10, 2008 | Seradata News | 0 comments

I am hearing that in the next few days NASA will know if it needs to do another week of tanking tests to solve its external tank engine cut off sensor problems and that would mean no 24 January launch

While the 2 February has been bandied around as a Shutttle launch date this is not possible because the Russian Federal Space Agency Energia Progress M-63 is flying to the International Space Station on the 7th and NASA’s Space Shuttle can’t be docked to ISS when a Progress docks.

The docking impact would, so I am told, damage the Shuttle docking system. The same rule will apply with ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). No ATV docking when Shuttle is docked

To get an 8 February Shuttle launch the Russians could be persuaded to launch the Progress early, say the 5th, to ensure there was sufficient time between its 6 Feb ISS arrival and the Shuttle Atlantis’ 10 Feb arrival for its 11-day STS-122 mission to attach ESA’s Columbus laboratory module

Once Atlantis had left on 16 February for an 18 Feb landing ESA’s ATV would be clear for its 22nd launch. In the meantime here are two pictures, care of Arianespace, of the ATV Jules Verne undergoing its fuelling operation at the Kourou, French Guinea spaceport


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