Tomorrow is Here

Jules Verne Docks with the ISS

by on Apr.09, 2008, under Near Earth

Jules Vern ATV

NASA TV

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Jules Verne Automatic Transfer Vehicle (ATV) has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The 19-ton unmanned ATV connected to the end of the Russian Zvezda module on the ISS at 14:45 GMT. Docking was completed at 14:52 GMT.

“The docking of the ATV is a new and spectacular step in the demonstration of European capabilities on the international scene of space exploration,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General. “This fantastic step is in first instance the result of collective work in Europe.”

This is the first mission of the ATV to the ISS. It docked itself automatically using onboard GPS system and delivered a cargo of propellant, water, oxygen and propulsion capacity to the ISS.

Said Daniel Sacotte, ESA’s Director for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration “The ATV is so much more than a simple delivery truck, it is an intelligent and versatile spaceship which has just demonstrated its extraordinary skills. It is the largest and most complex spacecraft ever developed in Europe and the second in size of all the vehicle’s visiting the Station, after NASA’s space shuttle.”

The ATC will remain at the ISS until August. Astronauts from the ISS will unload and its cargo and use its booster to reposition the ISS. Then they will send it to burn up on re-entry over the Pacific, having filled it with ISS garbage.

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