ATV press briefing at ESA Head Office, Paris

ATV 'Jules Verne' presented at media briefing

29 January 2008

With the launch of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle 'Jules Verne' rapidly approaching, ESA Programme managers and industry specialists participated in a media briefing at ESA Head Office in Paris, France, earlier today.

They presented an overview of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme and also took stock of the current status of the spacecraft and lead the Media through the upcoming phases: the launch, the journey to the International Space Station, the delicate manoeuvres up to docking and the complex operations related to this very challenging mission.

The 20-tonne re-supply and space-tug module will be carried into orbit by a special version of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle called the Ariane 5 Evolution Storable (ES).

The launcher is scheduled to lift-off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, not earlier than 22 February next.

An audio recording of the hour long press briefing is linked on the right.

The participants were:

  • Alan Thirkettle, ESA ISS Programme Manager, who presented ESA’s participation in the ISS, the role of the ATV in the ISS and its future outlook in exploration programmes.

  • John Ellwood, ESA ATV Mission Manager, who presented the ATV development, programme status, launch and mission profile.

  • Nicolas Chamussy, EADS ATV Programme Manager, who talked on the industrial involvement in ATV, industrial phases and main challenges, verification and testing.

  • Jean-François Clervoy, ESA Astronaut and ATV Senior Advisor, who presented the role of the astronauts in the ATV mission and operations at the ATV control centres.

Q&A session

At the close of the briefing there was an opportunity for the press to ask questions. An audio recording of the Q&A session is also linked on the right.

Seated at the table in these images, from left to right, are: Jean-François Clervoy, ESA Astronaut and ATV Senior Advisor, Nicolas Chamussy, EADS ATV Programme Manager, John Ellwood, ESA ATV Mission Manager, Alan Thirkettle, ESA ISS Programme Manager, Franco Bonacina, ESA Spokesman and Head of Media Relations. A scale model of the ATV spacecraft stands in the foreground.

ATV press briefing at ESA Head Office, Paris
ATV press briefing at ESA Head Office, Paris
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