Headlines > News > Space Debris No Threat to Station; ATV-3 Remains Docked

Space Debris No Threat to Station; ATV-3 Remains Docked

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:03 pm via: NASA
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Additional tracking Wednesday night of both the Cosmos satellite debris and the Indian rocket body debris resulted in a high degree of confidence that neither object would pose any possibility of a conjunction with the International Space Station and a debris avoidance maneuver scheduled for Thursday morning was cancelled by the flight control team at Mission Control.

The decision was relayed to and endorsed by Russian flight controllers, who now will turn their attention to final planning for the scheduled undocking of the European Space Agency’s “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Friday at 5:46 p.m. EDT. The final decision to proceed with the undocking was made by station managers Thursday morning.

By deciding to prepare for a possible avoidance maneuver Wednesday, station managers delayed until Friday a second attempt to undock the ATV. Tuesday’s initial attempt to undock the European cargo ship was called off due to a communications error between the Zvezda module’s proximity communications equipment and computers on the ATV. Russian engineers told mission managers that they fully understand the nature of the error and are prepared to proceed to a second undocking attempt.

Once it is undocked, the ATV will move to a safe distance away from the station for a pair of engine firings that will send the cargo ship back into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

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