Successful review for Jules Verne ATV launcher

Mar 07, 2008
Successful review for Jules Verne ATV launcher
The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is the first fully automatic re-supply spacecraft of its kind. ESA's Jules Verne ATV is the first European space supplier for the ISS. Its launch is scheduled on 9 March from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Credits: ESA - D.Ducros

The Launch Readiness Review (RAL), organised by Arianespace at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, last night gave the go-ahead for today’s transfer of Ariane 5 out to the launch pad.

About 80 people from Arianespace, Astrium, ESA and CNES participated in the 9-hour meeting in Kourou. Some 50 other experts joined by teleconference from Arianespace’s Headquarters in Evry-Courcouronnes, near Paris, France.

“This RAL review is quite an exhaustive and transparent process where all the specialists and managers give an account of all their actions; it is very healthy and reassuring for ESA and especially the ATV team. We are very pleased with all the efforts and incredible work done by Arianespace and CNES in Kourou”, said Daniel Sacotte, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration Programmes.

Roll-out of the 760-tonne launcher and Jules Verne ATV from the Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport to the launch complex 3 (ELA 3) is scheduled for today (Friday 7 March) at 10:35 local time in Kourou (14:35 CET, 13:45 UT).

Two days ago, ESA conducted a final pre-launch assessment to certify that the Jules Verne spacecraft, integrated to the launcher, was ready to proceed into final countdown.

The launch of the 19-tonne Jules Verne ATV requires a special adaptation of Ariane 5 ES to launch the first ATV into low-Earth orbit. Ariane 5 ES qualification was completed at the end January 2008, including a re-ignition test of the upper EPS stage demonstrated in orbit in autumn 2007. This special qualification also required the strengthening of the upper stage to accommodate the 'heavy' ATV which is more than twice as heavy than any previous Ariane 5 payload.

Jules Verne ATV was put through a 7.5-month launch campaign at the Spaceport in Kourou, including 3.5 weeks of combined operations of Ariane 5 and ATV.

The Ariane 5 ES lift-off for this inaugural ATV flight is scheduled during the night of 8 to 9 March 2008 at 05:03 CET.

Source: ESA

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fingers pointed as climate talks deadlock

9 hours ago

Accusations flew at deadlocked UN climate talks in Lima on Saturday, as the United States warned that failure to compromise could doom the 22-year-old global forum.

Fun cryptography app pleases students and teachers

19 hours ago

Up on Google Play this week is Cryptoy...something that you might want to check out if you or someone you know wishes entry into the world of cryptography via an educational and fun app. You learn more about ciphers and keys; you ...

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

9 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

16 hours ago

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

19 hours ago

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

19 hours ago

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

20 hours ago

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

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.