Space Craft
ESA - ATV Jules Verne
Credit: ESA

Jules Verne ATV, or Automated Transfer Vehicle 001 (ATV-001), is an unmanned European cargo resupply spacecraft named after French science-fiction author Jules Verne. The spacecraft was launched on 9 March 2008 on a mission to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with propellant, water, air, and dry cargo.

Because it is the first ATV, the spacecraft underwent three weeks of testing before it began a series of rendezvous with the ISS. It docked to the ISS on 3 April 2008.

This was the first fully automated space docking operation with a space station. (The very first fully automated space docking was done in 1967 by Cosmos 186 and Cosmos 188).

On 25 April 2008, Jules Verne was used to reboost the station into a higher orbit.

After spending up to four months docked at the station, Jules Verne will undock and de-orbit to a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

SOURCE - Wikipedia

Official ESA - ATV Jules Verne Website
 Robot space truck docks with ISS
Credit: ESA

Europe's sophisticated new space truck, the ATV, has docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned vessel carries just under five tonnes of food, water, air, fuel and equipment for the orbiting platform's three astronauts. The Automated Transfer Vehicle used its own computerised systems to make the attachment at 1445 GMT. Ground control and the ISS crew were on alert just in case there was a problem - but it was a textbook docking.

ATV Firsts:

  • The ATV is the first completely automated rendezvous and docking ship to go to the ISS
  • The ATV is the largest and most powerful space tug going to the ISS over its mission life
  • It provides the largest refuelling and waste elimination capability for the space station
  • It is the only vehicle on the current timeline able to de-orbit the ISS when it is retired
ATV Facts:
  • Cost: Total bill was 1.3bn euros (at least 4 more ATVs will be built)
  • Total cargo capacity: 7.6 tonnes, but first mission is flying lighter
  • Mass at launch: About 20 tonnes depending on cargo manifest
  • Dimensions: 10.3m long and 4.5m wide - the size of a large bus
  • Solar panels: Once unfolded, the solar wings span 22.3m
  • Engine power: 4x 490-Newton thrusters; and 28x 220N thrusters
SOURCE - BBC News (archived)
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