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: Curiosity brushes 'Bonanza king' target anticipating fourth red planet rock drilling

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

ESA's cargo vessel ready for space delivery

Aug 12, 2014

ESA's latest Automated Transfer Vehicle is set to dock with the International Space Station on Tuesday, delivering more than six tonnes of crucial supplies and scientific experiments to the orbiting research ...

End dawns for Europe's space cargo delivery role

Jul 27, 2014

Europe will close an important chapter in its space flight history Tuesday, launching the fifth and final robot ship it had pledged for lifeline deliveries to the International Space Station.

New launch date set for ISS delivery vessel

Jul 22, 2014

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.

Recommended for you

Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy discovers new comet

7 hours ago

It's confirmed! Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera at his roll-off roof ...

Students see world from station crew's point of view

Aug 19, 2014

NASA is helping students examine their home planet from space without ever leaving the ground, giving them a global perspective by going beyond a map attached to a sphere on a pedestal. The Sally Ride Earth ...

Mars deep down

Aug 19, 2014

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

User comments : 0