Liftoff! The European Space Agency’s (ESA) fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) launched Tuesday atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:47 p.m. EDT. The ATV-5 will take a two week trip to the International Space Station docking to the Zvezda service module on Aug. 12 at 9:43 a.m. with 7 tons of science, food, fuel and supplies.
En route to the station, the Georges Lemaitre will pass 3.9 miles beneath the space station Aug. 8 so European flight controllers can test new rendezvous sensors. Engineers may use the new sensors in the design and manufacture of future European spacecraft. After the “fly-under”, the ATV-5 will pass in front, above and behind the station for the final four days of its rendezvous with Zvezda.
Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja, 2014
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