Watch Jules Verne on NASA TV docking with Space Station
After its launch on March 8, 2008, the Jules Verne chased the space station for about one week, making steady progress closer in position with its target.
Then, it remained in a parking orbit at about 1,243 miles (2,000 kilometers) away in order to give a wide berth for the arrival of NASA's space shuttle Endeavour and its STS-123 crew, which made an important assembly mission to further complete the station
Now, with Endeavour and its crewmembers safety back on Earth, it is the Jules Verne’s turn to dock.
The new automated transfer vehicle (ATV), the first European space cargo craft to the space station, will begin a series of automated maneuvers to approach the ISS.
The most important maneuvers will occur on March 31 and April 3. They will be shown live on NASA TV with commentary from mission personnel at the NASA Johnson Space Center, located just outside of Houston, Texas (United States), in Clear Lake City.
The docking of the unmanned ESA spacecraft will be supervised by the ESA ATV Control Center (Toulouse, France), along with the help of the Russian Mission Control Center (Korolev, Russia).
NASA coverage of the event will begin at 9 a.m. Central Daylight Time (1400 GMT), on March 31, 2008, as the Jules Verne begins its approach from about two miles (3.3 kilometers) away from the International Space Station.
On its first approach to the station, the spacecraft will ignite its engines several times until it is about 36 feet (11 meters) from the ISS.
At that time, Expedition 16 flight engineer and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and commander and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, will hit an abort command to test the emergency capability of the new docking system of the Jules Verne.
Afterwards, a complete test scenario will be run to verify all is nominal with the craft.
Then, three days, later, on April 3, 2008, the spacecraft will again approach the ISS for its actual docking with the space station.
Please turn the page for the time that NASA coverage begins on the docking of the Jules Verne, along with the website for live coverage of the event.
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William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University