ATV – made in?

R-4D thruster. Credits: Aerojet

ATV: Made in America

Even though the last of the ATVs, Georges Lemaître, ended its mission last month we still have one more country to finish our ‘ATV-Made-in’ series: the United States of America. American company Aerojet supplied ATV’s large 490-N...

ATV – сделан в России (ATV: made in Russia)

Having exhausted the European contributions of our ‘ATV Made-in-‘ series on national contributions to the ATV project, now we look further abroad to our international partners. The International Space Station, as its name implies, is a collaboration between the USA, Russia, ESA, Canada and Japan, so parts of ATV (which is also part of the International Space Station programme) were supplied by Russia and USA. For no reason at all, let’s start with Russia.

ATV: tillverkad i Sverige

We are nearing the end of our blog posts on country contribution to ATV hardware as we feature the last European country in the series. Sweden supplied but one unit, but it is arguably one of the most important – even if it is never used. The Monitoring and Safing Unit built by Ruag space in Sweden is responsible for keeping the International Space Station and its astronauts safe during ATV’s automatic docking. The Unit keeps track of all parameters such as ATV’s speed, distance to target, angle of approach and so on and will abort a docking and park the space freighter at a safe distance from the Space Station if...

ATV: Hergestellt in Deutschland

Part seven of our series on national involvement in ATV production will look at Germany. Germany is heavily involved in ATV production as Astrium Gmbh is the prime contractor. Their task is to bring together all the elements mentioned in previous posts to make a complete spacecraft that is ready for launch. Astrium is involved in the organisation, building, testing and is the main point of contact with ESA. All three Astrium sites in Germany are involve in ATV production: Bremen, Lampoldshausen and Friedrichshaven. In addition, Astrium subsidiaries have worked on engineering the propulsion bay and avionics bay as well as system integration. Astrium included a Fault Tolerant Computer on ATV that...

Swiss made ATV

Continuing our series on country-level contributions to ATV, let’s look at Switzerland.  In the case of ATV-4, the first connection is naturally the name: Albert Einstein, who was born in Ulm, Germany, but who studied and spent his early career in Switzerland. He got a job in Bern at the patent office and there had time to ponder the problems of physics, leading to four fundamental scientific papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of matter and energy – all in 1905. These raised Albert to fame even beyond the scientific community, and today we can consider Einstein’s career and findings as the fruit of cooperation between...

ATV: Made in Switzerland

Continuing our series on countries’ contributions to ATV, let’s look at Switzerland. The mountain country is often associated with Albert Einstein who lends his name to ATV-4. The scientist famously worked in a patent office in Bern while he wrote many papers including his ground-breaking Special Theory of Relativity.  Ruag space, based in Zurich, contributed the basic structural elements of ATV, and that is not to be taken lightly, as they were designed to be as low-mass as possible. In space flight, mass equals cost as more fuel is needed to propel heavier objects into orbit.  The racks that hold ATV’s cargo are made of aluminium and comply with NASA’s standard sizes:...

ATV: Van Nederlandse makelij

With ATV-3 securely docked to the Space Station and Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers in charge of unpacking it is only fitting that we continue our investigation of ATV’s European origins with a post on The Netherlands’ contribution to ATV. The solar panels, providing all the power to ATV, are supplied by Leiden-based company Dutch Space. The panels weigh 160 kg and are over 22 meters long when unfurled. Dutch Space also supplies the solar panels for the future constellation of Galileo satellites. While unpacking, André will be pleased to know that ATV’s ventilation system is provided by Bradford Engineering. Despite the English sounding name, Bradford Engineering is based in the Netherlands,...

ATV: Hecho en España

Due to popular demand the ATV information kit has been translated into Spanish, and is available here. In its honour we will dedicate this post to Spain’s considerable contribution to ATV. Ten Spanish companies have had their say in ATV production: Deimos Space, Alter Technology Group Spain, EADS Astrium Crisa, EADS CASA Espacio, GMV, GTD, Iberespacio, Indra Espacio, Rymsa and Thales Alenia Space España. Their contribution is visible in almost every aspect of ATV, from preparations to docking. DEIMOS Space helped develop the simulation platform and validated the cargo ship’s software. Indra Espacio designed and installed one of the tracking stations used on ATV missions. From the picturesque island of Santa María...

ATV: Fabriqué en France

To celebrate the arrival of the ATV-3 info kits in French, Italian and German we will continue our in-depth look at contributions from individual European countries. This time France will be in the spotlight.

ATV: made in Belgium

The International Space Station is truly an international undertaking and the ATV is a true European contribution. The ATV is built from hardware supplied from all over Europe. In subsequent posts we will focus on European nations contribution to the ATV spaceships. In no particular order we will start with Belgium. Space Applications Services (SAS) based in Zaventem has been involved since the very beginning of ATV, back in 1994. SAS has supported the entire development of the ATV system through all phases of the mission. from preparations on the ground and launch up to the rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station. SAS even played a key part in training...