Headlines > News > MCC Checking ATV-3 Power, Crew to Begin Unpacking Cargo

MCC Checking ATV-3 Power, Crew to Begin Unpacking Cargo

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:22 am via: NASA
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The Flight Control team at Mission Control, Houston continued precautionary planning Friday night to deal with a possible shortfall of power for the ATV-3 in the event attempts to connect ISS power to the European cargo ship on Saturday prove unsuccessful.

Lead ATV-3 Flight Director Jerry Jason was directed Friday night by the Station Program not to work toward any alternate orientation schemes for the ISS to extend power to the ATV through its solar arrays. ESA Flight controllers at the ATV Control Center in Toulouse, France say the ATV will not be able to generate power through the solar arrays as of Monday due to the beta angle, or position of the sun relative to the station, that the ISS will fly into at that time.

Instead, all efforts will be concentrated on the activation of a backup power channel in the Russian Equipment Control System or RECS, that is designed to route power to the ATV from the station, much like the SSPTS, or Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System did for the Shuttle when it was docked to PMA-2. The primary channel of the RECS failed late Thursday during air scrubbing of the interior of the ATV. The backup channel was activated Friday, but has not yet been integrated into the power bus for the RECS.

Plans call for the backup channel to be connected to the ATV around 11 a.m. Central time Saturday. In advance of that, again, as a precautionary measure, the crew will be directed to forego its off-duty day Saturday and will begin unloading cargo from the ATV-3 starting at 5 a.m. Central time. This will protect a timeline that would enable the crew to unload cargo all day Saturday, and stay up three hours past its regular bedtime on Saturday to sleep shift for a potential expedited undocking of the ATV-3 on Monday sometime between 1:45 p.m. and 6:18 p.m. Central time, if the power connection on the RECS backup channel does not work. Sunday would be devoted to additional cargo transfer, the set up and testing of proximity communication equipment in the ATV-3 and the closing of hatches.

The crew was informed of the preliminary plan before it went to bed late Friday afternoon. A complete rundown of the plan will be provided to the crew in its morning Daily Planning Conference in the wee hours Saturday.

If the power connection is successful, then the crew will be told to stand down from any further cargo transfer and the Flight Control team in Houston will be directed to stop working toward an undocking on Monday. Additionally, if the power connection works, ESA flight controllers in Toulouse, working with their Russian counterparts at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, would then press ahead to fire the ATV engines for 4 minutes and 51 seconds Saturday at 4:54 p.m. Central time to test the reboost functionality of the ATV propulsion system and to set up phasing for the ISS Progress 47 launch on April 20, the undocking and landing of Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin on April 27, and the launch of Expedition 31/32 crewmembers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin on May 15.

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