New date set for Europe's resupply mission to ISS

March 5, 2012
An Ariane-5 rocket blasts off in 2011 from the European space centre at Kourou, French Guiana. Flight controllers have set March 23 for the launch of a European supply ship to the International Space Station (ISS), the European Space Agency told AFP on Monday.

Flight controllers have set March 23 for the launch of a European supply ship to the International Space Station (ISS), the European Space Agency told AFP on Monday.

The robot freighter -- the third in the series -- was to have been hoisted this Friday aboard a heavy-lift , bringing six tonnes of fuel, water, oxygen and dry cargo to the ISS.

Mission managers delayed the flight last week to carry out further checks.

The ship is a hi-tech craft capable of navigating by the stars and docking autonomously with the manned outpost in space.

It has been named after a 20th-century Italian physicist, Edoardo Amaldi.

Lift off is scheduled for 0431 GMT, the agency said in a press release.

The supply ship will be docked to the ISS for six months, providing extra room for its astronauts and occasional boosts to the station to rectify orbital decay.

Laden with rubbish, the craft will then detach and burn up in Earth's atmosphere in a controlled destruction.

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