Italian physicist honoured by European space truck

March 16, 2010
This picture, released by the European Space Agency in 2008, shows ESA's Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle. Europe's third space freighter will be named after Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi, the ESA said on Tuesday.

Europe's third space freighter will be named after Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Tuesday.

Amaldi was one of a group of young scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, which discovered "slow neutrons" in the 1930s, paving the way to the first nuclear reactor.

He later contributed to research in , and gravitational waves.

ESA's first automated transfer vehicle (ATV), named after the French forerunner of science fiction, Jules Verne, was launched in 2008.

The second, honouring the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, is to be hoisted aloft later this year.

The ATV is an unmanned craft designed to dock automatically with the (ISS), bringing six and a half tonnes of food, water, supplies and equipment and serving as temporary quarters for six months.

In its present design, the ATV is sent on a one-way trip, decoupling from the ISS at the end of its mission before being destroyed by burnup in Earth's atmosphere.

ESA is exploring whether the vehicle can be adapted to bring back cargo and experiments or even astronauts.

Explore further: Send your playlist to space with ATV!

Related Stories

Send your playlist to space with ATV!

April 25, 2007

If you think you can come up with the ideal playlist for astronauts flying around the Earth in the International Space Station , ESA wants to hear from you.

Jules Verne ATV launch approaching

February 11, 2008

After the successful launch of ESA’s Columbus laboratory aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on Thursday (7 February), it is now time to focus on the next imminent milestone for ESA: the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated ...

Jules Verne reaches 'parking' orbit

March 19, 2008

Jules Verne ATV has today reached a parking position 2000 km ahead of the International Space Station. Europe's ISS re-supply spacecraft will wait at this holding point for the completion of the STS-123 Space Shuttle mission ...

Record boost for ATV to raise ISS orbit

June 20, 2008

For the second time since April, ESA's Jules Verne ATV was used to raise the orbit of the International Space Station yesterday. A record boost from the 20 minute burn of the Automated Transfer Vehicle's main engines successfully ...

Recommended for you

The search for molecular oxygen among cosmic oxygen atoms

July 27, 2015

Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen and helium) and of course it is important: all known life forms require liquid water and its oxygen content. For over thirty years, astronomers have ...

Hubble looks in on a galactic nursery

July 27, 2015

This dramatic image shows the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's view of dwarf galaxy known as NGC 1140, which lies 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus. As can be seen in this image NGC 1140 has an ...

Fossil star clusters reveal their age

July 27, 2015

Using a new age-dating method, an international team of astronomers has determined that ancient star clusters formed in two distinct epochs – the first 12.5 billion years ago and the second 11.5 billion years ago.

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

yyz
not rated yet Mar 16, 2010
It will be interesting to see if these amazing automated supply ships can be adapted & man-rated to haul astronauts (...or cosmonauts) to and from the ISS.
RoboticExplorer
not rated yet Mar 16, 2010
It will be interesting to see if these amazing automated supply ships can be adapted & man-rated to haul astronauts (...or cosmonauts) to and from the ISS.


I imagine this would be a good alternative to the Soyuz option if it becomes available. Its always good to have a plan B.
probes
1 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
The ATV supply ships could be adapted by fitting VASIMR engines. An ATV with a 200KW VASIMR could be launched from the ISS ot Mars. This would probably take about 3.9 weeks.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.