Saturday, February 26, 2011

ESA ATV - Johannes Kepler: A perfect choreography

Johannes Kepler has reached today the International Space Station under the watchful eye of the large and devoted team that made it possible.

The complex challenge of operating ATV was not just technical: the mission succeeded thanks to the perfect choreography among dozens of companies and thousands of technicians and engineers across Europe.

They represent a highly skilled workforce ready to face the future of space transportation, and a great asset to the European aerospace industry.

Like the ATV-2 itself, they have showed to be flexible, tough, versatile, open to continuous improvements and extremely efficient.

I would like to thank all the people involved in this vital mission for their commitment, professionalism and hard work as part of an integrated team. This success belongs to you.

My sincere congratulations to all ESA teams involved all over the world in this endeavour. The list is long: from the ATV-2 Operations team in Toulouse (ATC-CC) and the various divisions in ESTEC to the trainers at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC); from the staff in Kourou, French Guiana, to the astronauts on the International Space Station, and especially to Paolo Nespoli.

This achievement is for the European Space Agency, and for the Human Spaceflight directorate in particular, a reason of pride and joy.

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