In 2006, with the launch of Jules Verne, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will become the new European powerful automatic re-supply spaceship able to bring an indispensable payload to the International Space Station and its permanent crew. This first ATV will carry a mix of supplies depending on the Station’s needs and its own payload capacity.
ESA, NASA and Russian counterparts are already defining the priorities to accommodate the most appropriate combination of different supplies for this inaugural flight. The combination is quite flexible and can include different amounts of re-boost propellant, refuelling propellant for the Station’s own propulsion system, drinking water, air and dry cargo, which is stored in the 48 m3 pressurized section of the ATV.
In all Jules Verne will carry about seven tonnes of cargo to the orbiting outpost 400 km or so above the Earth thanks to the Ariane 5 launcher, which is capable of boosting up to 20.5 tonnes into low Earth orbit.
Dieter Isakeit | alfa
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