June 16, 2011

ATV-5 docked with the International Space Station

Europe’s fifth ISS cargo resupply ship, sent aloft 30 July by an Ariane 5 launcher, reached its destination this Tuesday 12 August. The station crew will be opening the hatch in a few days’ time. See multi-camera footage of the final minutes of the docking sequence here.

Video replay (FR)


Fully-fledged module of the ISS

Europe’s fifth and final cargo spacecraft, the ATV-5 Georges Lemaître, reached the International Space Station this Tuesday 12 August, monitored continuously by the ATV Control Centre (ATV-CC) at CNES’s field centre in Toulouse.

After Rosetta’s rendezvous with a comet last week, Europe has today reaffirmed its prowess in cutting-edge space technologies in demonstrating the remarkable performance and reliability of this fifth and final ATV spacecraft,” commented CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall.

 The ATV-5 will stay berthed to the ISS as a permanent module for the next 6 months. The station’s crew of 6 will now be able to unload the ATV’s cargo and start filling it with waste. The ATV is also carrying fuel and water for the station, and its thrusters will be fired several times to boost the station’s orbit, which inevitably decays over time.

 At the end of its mission, the ATV will be guided by the ATV-CC to an uninhabited zone over the South Pacific, where it will burn up on re-entering Earth’s atmosphere (at a speed of 25,000 km/h in the early stages of its descent).