Jules Verne ATV launch approaching

Feb 11, 2008
Jules Verne ATV launch approaching
Preview of the maiden launch and docking of ESA's Jules Verne ATV. Jules Verne will be lifted into space on board an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Credits: ESA - D. Ducros

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 Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to be sent to the International Space Station.

The 20-tonne European resupply and space-tug module will be carried into orbit by a special version of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. The launcher, operated by Arianespace, is now scheduled to lift off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 8 March at 01:23 local time, 05:23 CET.

From 2008 onward, ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle will be one of the space station’s supply spacecraft, delivering experiments, equipment and spare parts, as well as food, air and water for its permanent crew.

Constructed by EADS-Astrium, the ATV, which is the most powerful automatic spaceship ever built, will carry up to 9 tonnes of cargo to the station as it orbits 400 km above the Earth.

Equipped with its own propulsion and navigation systems, the ATV is a multi-functional spacecraft, combining the fully automatic capabilities of an unmanned vehicle with the safety requirements of a crewed vehicle . Its mission in space will resemble that, on the ground, of a truck (the ATV) delivering goods and services to a research establishment (the space station).

A new-generation high-precision navigation system will guide the ATV on a rendezvous trajectory towards the station. In early April, Jules Verne will automatically dock with the station’s Russian Service Module, following a number of specific operations and manoeuvres (on 'Demonstration Days') to show that the vehicle is performing as planned in nominal and contingency situations.

It will remain there as a pressurised and integral part of the station for up to six months until a controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere takes place, during which it will burn up and, in the process, dispose of 6.3 tonnes of waste material no longer needed on the station.

Source: European Space Agency

Explore further: SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

ATV-5 set to test new rendezvous sensors

Mar 19, 2014

ESA's space freighter ATV Georges Lemaître, set for launch this summer,will test new rendezvous sensors in space as it approaches the International Space Station.

Why trapping somebody in space only takes a breeze

Mar 19, 2014

Imagine that you were in the middle of a module on the International Space Station. Floating in mid-air, far from handholds or any way to propel yourself. Is there any way to get out of that situation?

Space freighter burns up in suicide dive

Oct 03, 2012

A giant supply ship burned up over the South Pacific early Wednesday in a self-destruct operation after a six-month mission to the International Space Station, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

Space freighter starts suicide plunge: ESA

Oct 02, 2012

A bus-sized craft that had delivered food to the International Space Station will re-enter Earth's atmosphere overnight for a controlled implosion over the South Pacific, the European Space Agency said Tuesday.

Happy birthday, space station

Nov 20, 2013

The International Space Station celebrates its birthday today, 15 years after the first module was launched in 1998.

Burn ATV-4, burn

Nov 06, 2013

(Phys.org) —ESA's fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle,Albert Einstein,burnt up on 2 November at 12:04 GMT over an uninhabited area of the Pacific Ocean. It left the International Space Station a week earlier ...

Recommended for you

SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

11 hours ago

The SpaceX company returned to orbit Friday, launching fresh supplies to the International Space Station after more than a month's delay and setting the stage for urgent spacewalking repairs.

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

12 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

14 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

14 hours ago

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

Ceres and Vesta Converge in Virgo

17 hours ago

Don't let them pass you by. Right now and continuing through July, the biggest and brightest asteroids will be running on nearly parallel tracks in the constellation Virgo and so close together they'll easily ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...