Jules Verne cleared for ISS docking

TOULOUSE, France (UPI) — The European Space Agency said it has cleared the Jules Verne spacecraft to proceed with the first automated docking with the International Space Station.

The event is scheduled for 10:41 a.m. EDT Thursday.

Wednesday’s official go-ahead followed two flawless Monday tests during which the automated transfer vehicle proved its operational capabilities.

“We have proven that Jules Verne’s systems are safe, reliable and ready to dock to the station,” said John Ellwood, the ESA’s ATV project manager. “Everyone has worked very hard to get to this point, and we have also proven that the team on the ground is fully ready for (Thursday’s) first attempt.”

If the docking does not occur for any reason, the next possible window occurs 48 hours later on Saturday, the ESA said.

The entire procedure will be monitored from ESA’s ATV Control Center in Toulouse, France, in cooperation with the Russian control center in Moscow and the U.S. space agency’s control center in Houston.

The event, to be telecast by ESA TV, will be available at http://television.esa.int/. It will also be streamed live via the ESA Web site at http://www.esa.int/atv.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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