The European Space Agency (ESA) reported today that its Jules Verne craft has reached a "parking position" 2,000km from the International Space Station.
The supply craft will wait at this holding point for the completion of the STS-123 Space Shuttle mission before proceeding with the first of two rendezvous demonstration days.
Two thruster boosts late last night took the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to its parking orbit at the same orbital altitude as the Space Station. In the course of this manoeuvre the ATV passed just 30km underneath the Space Station.
A second propulsion chain was used to execute manoeuvres today, and Alberto Novelli, ESA's mission director at the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, said that it performed perfectly.
"In doing the boosts we have tested all the pressure regulators which worked perfectly fine. So as of today we have proof that the propulsion system as a whole, including all the redundancies, is working fine," he said.
The Jules Verne ATV will remain in the parking orbit until 27 March. The spacecraft will then be taken to a position ready to perform the two rendezvous demonstration days set for 29 and 31 March.
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