ATV Edoardo Amaldi set for liftoff

Mar 22, 2012
A final view of Automated Transfer Vehicle Edoardo Amaldi before it is installed on the Ariane rocket. ESA’s third automated space freighter, Edoardo Amaldi, will carry about two tonnes of dry cargo, 285 kg of water and more than three tonnes of propellants to the International Space Station. Credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG - J.M. Guillon

ESA’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle, Edoardo Amaldi, is ready for launch to the International Space Station. ESA’s formal Launch Readiness Review on Monday revealed no problems with the vessel. Launch is set for this Friday at 04:34 GMT (05:34 CET).

The (ATV) is the largest cargo vessel supplying the International Space Station with food, water supplies and propellants.

Yesterday, Arianespace conducted their readiness review for the Ariane 5 mission, VA205, that will deliver ATV to orbit. It, too, is cleared for flight.

The protective fairing is lowered over Automated Transfer Vehicle Edoardo Amaldi. With the fairing in place, the spacecraft will be lowered on to the Ariane rocket that will launch it to the International Space Station. ESA’s third automated space freighter, Edoardo Amaldi, will carry about two tonnes of dry cargo, 285 kg of water and more than three tonnes of propellants to the International Space Station. Credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG - J.M. Guillon

Today, Ariane and ATV Edoardo Amaldi will be rolled to the pad in Kourou, French Guiana. The total vehicle mass is 777 tonnes –the heaviest ever for an Ariane. This ATV is also the rocket’s heaviest payload so far.

Follow the launch live via the ESA website – the webcast starts 30 minutes before liftoff.

Explore further: Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

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