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Arianespace reschedules ATV-3 launch


ATV approaching space station. An ESA illustration

PARIS (BNS): Arianespace has rescheduled the launch of Europe's third automated transfer vehicle (ATV-3) on a supply mission to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft, Edoardo Amaldi, was scheduled to fly to the ISS carrying fuel, water, oxygen, air and dry cargo for the space station crew members on March 9.

It will now lift off on March 23 after the original timing was delayed to facilitate additional checks on the ATV, Arianespace said.

The ATV will be launched by the Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

Europe has been supporting space supply missions along with Russia's Progress and Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle after the retirement of US's Space Shuttles.

The ATVs are contributing to the support and maintenance of the ISS by supplying cargo since 2008 when the first ATV, Jules Verne, was launched on March 9. The second spacecraft of the series, Johannes Kepler, went on its mission in February, 2011.

Each ATV is capable of carrying up to 6.6 tonnes of cargo to the orbital station. It is the biggest cargo carrier servicing the space station and a vital element of ISS logistics.

ESA plans to build at least five ATVs with launches about a year apart.

Tags:

Arianespace  ATV  ISS  

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