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Automated Transfer Vehicle


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The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is a European cargo supply vehicle to be used for the Interrnational Space Station (ISS). It is launched by the Ariane-5 Rocket from Kourou in French Guinea.

The European Automated Transfer Vehicle is a new generation of unpiloted cargo carriers designed to supply the International Space Station with liquid and dry cargo as well as gases.

The first ATV is scheduled to be launched to the ISS in 2003. The European Space Agency (ESA) is to launch 9 Ariane-5's between 2003 and 2014 carrying ATV's.

Each 20 tonne ATV will be placed in 300 km, 51.6 degrees orbit and will then maneouvre to rendezvous and dock with the ISS. The ATV will provide unpressurized cargo, including propellant and cargo stored in its pressurized compartment including payloads and experiments.

The ATV will also provide an orbital reboosting capabilty for the ISS and will later be filled with trash and waste which will be disposed of during a controlled, destructive re-entry.

The ATV is more than 32 feet long and almost 15 feet in diameter. It has a dry weight of about 23,000 pounds. It docks automatically with the station, though station crew members can take charge of the process if difficulties arise.

It can carry more than 16,800 pounds of cargo. It can take to the station as much as 12,000 pounds of dry cargo, almost 1,850 pounds of water, as much as 220 pounds of gases, and up to 1,890 pounds of propellant for the station.

Additionally, tanks for its own engines can hold more than 10,000 pounds of propellant for its own four main engines and 28 attitude control thrusters. The ATV's main engines can reboost the station, and its thrusters can provide station attitude control.

Once its standard racks are emptied (it can accommodate eight of them) and other dry cargo is transferred from its 1,685-cubic-foot pressurized cargo area and liquids and gases are moved into station tanks, the ATV becomes a garbage container. It can load more than 13,800 pounds of dry and liquid wastes, which with the spacecraft are incinerated on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Plans call for at least seven ATVs to be built to support the station.

Specifications:

Length  ?m
Width  ?m
Spacecraft Weight 20T
Launch Vehicle Ariane-5
Total Cargo Weight  9T

Did you know?

 * ATV has a larger ater cargo capacity than the Russian Progress cargo carrier.

 * The Kourou launch site is about 5 degrees north of the Equator, giving the Ariane almost full advantage of the Earth's rotation.


Reference:

Automated Transfer Vehicle


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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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