European Space Agency: Follow the launch of ATV ‘Jules Verne’ live from ESA sites across Europe

29 February 2008 - ESA PR 13-2008. With ESA’s Columbus laboratory successfully attached and operating on the International Space Station, the time has now come for another European milestone mission to leave for the ISS - that of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), named ‘Jules Verne’.  Europe’s massive 19 357 kg supply spacecraft will be carried into orbit by a special version of the Ariane 5 launcher. This Ariane is now scheduled to lift off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 8 March at 01:28 local time, 05:28 CET. Media are invited to space centres across Europe to follow this historic launch live (see details below).  From 2008 onward, ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle will be one of the space station’s supply spacecraft, delivering experiments, equipment and spare parts, as well as food, air and water for its permanent crew. Constructed by EADS-Astrium, the ATV, which is the most powerful automatic spaceship ever built, will carry up to 9 tonnes of cargo to the station as it orbits 400 km above the Earth.

Preview of the maiden launch and docking of ESA’s Jules Verne ATV. Jules Verne will be lifted into space on board an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. - Credits: ESA - D. Ducros


Equipped with its own propulsion and navigation systems, the ATV is a multi-functional spacecraft, combining the fully automatic capabilities of an unmanned vehicle with the safety requirements of a crewed vehicle. Its mission in space will resemble that, on the ground, of a truck (the ATV) delivering goods and services to a research establishment (the space station).

A new-generation high-precision navigation system will guide the ATV on a rendezvous trajectory towards the station. In early April, Jules Verne will automatically dock with the station’s Russian Service Module, following a number of specific operations and manoeuvres (on ‘Demonstration Days’) to show that the vehicle is performing as planned in nominal and contingency situations.

It will remain there as a pressurised and integral part of the station for up to six months until a controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere takes place, during which it will burn up and, in the process, dispose of 6.3 tonnes of waste material no longer needed on the station.

For the launch of this milestone mission, ESA, CNES, DLR and industry partners are organising coverage of the launch at various centres. ESA experts as well as industry representatives will be on hand for interviews.

The mission can also be followed on the web at: www.esa.int/atv. Media representatives wishing to follow the event at one of the locations listed below are requested to fill in the attached registration form and fax it back to the place of their choice. The event will be followed live at the following locations:

Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, has been integrated and encapsulated under its huge fairing on top of its Ariane 5 launcher. With a total mass of about 19 360 kg, Jules Verne is the largest payload ever launched by Ariane 5. The historical mission with the first European space supplier for the ISS is scheduled for a night time launch on 8 March at 01:23 local time in French Guiana (04.23 UT). - Credits: 2008 - ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG


Members of the launch integration team stand in front of Jules Verne following the operation to mate the spacecraft’s Integrated Cargo Carrier with the Propulsion Module. Jules Verne is the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Europe’s resupply spacecraft for the International Space Station. Jules Verne is being prepared for launch at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. (15 December 2007) Credits: 2007 - ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG


CNES / ESA transmission at Toulouse
Address: Cité de l’Espace, bât. Astralia, Toulouse
Opening hours: 04:30 - 08:00

Location: ESA HQ
Address: 8/10, rue Mario-Nikis, Paris 15
Opening hours: 04:30 - 08:00

EADS-Astrium / ESA / DLR Event
Address: Astrium GmbH, Airbus-Str.1, Bremen
Opening hours: 04:30 - 08:00

Location: ESA/ESOC
Address: Robert-Bosch Strasse 5, 64289 Darmstadt
Opening hours: 04:45 - 08:00

The Netherlands
Location: ESA/ESTEC, Erasmus Centre
Address: Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk
Opening hours: 05:00 – 07:00

Location: ESA/ESRIN
Address: Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati (Rome)
Opening hours: 04:30 - 08:00

Location: ESA/ESAC
Address: Camino bajo del Castillo, s/n Urbanización Villafranca del Castillo
Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid
Opening hours: 04:30 - 08:00


Source: European Space Agency (ESA)
Pictures are copyrighted

For further information about European Space Agency (ESA), click here


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