ATV Control Centre readies for Europe's first-ever automated docking
ESA's ATV Control Centre will play a crucial role in docking the 'Jules Verne' with the ISS, even though the ATV has a sophisticated automatic navigation system.
Equipped with its own propulsion and navigation system, the unmanned ATV 'space truck' - dubbed 'Jules Verne' - has a sophisticated automatic navigation system. Even though the ATV is an automatic space vehicle, ground control experts from ESA and CNES, the French space agency, will be heavily involved in operations. They are prepared for any contingency, determining the route the spacecraft must take to dock with the ISS and working closely with the other two ISS control centres involved in ATV operations: the Mission Control Centre - Moscow (MCC-M) and the MCC-H, in Houston. At each of these control centres, European, American and Russian engineers coordinate their actions and carry out final manoeuvres with extreme precision.