European cargo freighter to undock from ISS

Oct 25, 2013

Europe's heaviest-ever cargo carrier to the International Space Station is set to undock on Monday after completing its mission, according to a European Space Agency (ESA) blog.

After separating from the ISS at 0859 GMT, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will tumble back towards Earth and burn up when it hits the atmosphere over an uninhabited part of the Pacific Ocean on November 2.

ESA's fourth ATV, dubbed Albert Einstein, was rocketed into space from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on June 5 and docked with the ISS ten days later.

It ferried a record cargo of 6.6 tonnes to the ISS—food, fuel, water, oxygen, science experiments and special treats for the orbiting crew.

At nearly 20.2 tonnes, ESA's penultimate cargo delivery to the ISS was the heaviest spacecraft ever launched by an Ariane rocket.

The unmanned vessel is the size of a double-decker bus—10 metres (33 feet) long and 4.5 metres (15 feet) in diameter.

One of its key functions was to boost the ISS, constantly falling towards Earth due to atmospheric resistance, back into a higher orbit.

It will finally leave the ISS filled with about six tonnes of garbage and human waste that will burn up with it.

The hatch linking the ATV to the ISS was closed on Friday, said the blog.

Explore further: Obama salutes 45th anniversary of US astronauts' Moon landing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

European cargo freighter separates from rocket

Jun 06, 2013

Europe's heaviest-ever cargo carrier to the International Space Station successfully separated from its rocket launcher an hour after liftoff on Wednesday to start a 10-day journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

Europe's space truck docks with ISS

Jun 15, 2013

A robot freighter bearing 6.6 tonnes of cargo docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

Europe sets June 5 for launch of space freighter

Apr 11, 2013

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday announced it would launch the fourth, and heaviest, in a series of hi-tech cargo vehicles to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 5.

European cargo vessel docks with space station

Mar 29, 2012

An unmanned European craft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 2233 GMT, laden with tonnes of fuel, water, oxygen and other supplies, France's CNES space agency said.

Europe set for record-breaking space launch

Jun 03, 2013

Nearly 40 years ago, European countries worried by US and Soviet dominance of space gave the green light to the first Ariane rocket, a wee launcher capable of hoisting a satellite payload of just 1.8 tonnes—the ...

Recommended for you

New launch date set for ISS delivery vessel

14 hours ago

A robot ship will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, after a five-day delay on July 29 to deliver provisions to the International Space Station, space transport firm Arianespace said Tuesday.

The heart of an astronaut, five years on

16 hours ago

The heart of an astronaut is a much-studied thing. Scientists have analyzed its blood flow, rhythms, atrophy and, through journal studies, even matters of the heart. But for the first time, researchers are ...

Image: Kaleidoscopic view of Mars

22 hours ago

Astrophotographer Leo Aerts from Belgium took advantage of the recent opposition of Mars and captured the Red Planet both "coming and going" in this montage of images taken from October 2013 to June of 2014. ...

User comments : 0