Found this morning in the Twittersphere from @SpaceShuttleAlmanac, originally via our friends at Arianespace:
— SpaceShuttleAlmanac (@ShuttleAlmanac) November 8, 2013
The preparation campaign for Europe’s fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is now in full swing at the Spaceport, where pre-flight checkout has commenced for the large cargo resupply spacecraft’s Service Module.
This major component – which includes propulsion systems, electrical power, computers, communications and avionics – was unloaded from its special shipping container and positioned for processing inside the Spaceport’s S5C preparation hall, joining the ATV’s Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) element that began its own checkout last week.
Four silicon-based solar arrays are outfitted on the Service Module, designed to unfold in orbit and reach a 22.3-meter span to provide electrical power for rechargeable batteries. These arrays – which can produce an average of 4,800 Watts – are totally independent from one another and can get the best orientation to the Sun due to rotating mechanisms.
The Service Module is to be mated with the Integrated Cargo Carrier during upcoming activity at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, forming the complete ATV spacecraft – which will be mounted on Ariane 5 using a cylindrical Separation and Distancing Module (SDM) that forms the interface between this resupply spacecraft and its launcher.