Thursday, June 6, 2013

Einstein goes to the ISS

Arianne 5 launches from French Guiana. Credit ESA and BBC.

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched their 4th large cargo spacecraft to the ISS yesterday. The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4), named after the famous physicist Albert Einstein, blasted off from the Kourou space launch facility in French Guiana carrying supplies for the International space station.  This particular mission is the heaviest that has been launched by the ESA, weighing in at 20+ tons of craft and supplies. The spacecraft will maneuver into a matching orbit with the ISS over the next 10 days, expecting to dock on Saturday June 15. It will remain attached until october, when it will be deorbited with garbage  from the station to burn up in the atmosphere.

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