Apollo, ATV and Progress side by side Credit: ESA

Apollo, ATV and Progress side by side Credit: ESA

There’s a very nice, detailed overview on the entire ATV-3 mission by Chris Gebhardt over at NASASpaceflight.com today.

Chris has provided a wealth of technical detail on the vessel, the launch, the mission and the ground segment.

Book off at least 20 mins to read the whole report — and channel your inner ‘spacecraft operations engineer’.

With an impressive safety and success record, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket, flying in the Ariane 5 ES configuration, will be the rocket used Friday morning to launch the ATV-3 to the International Space Station (ISS).

The voyage of ATV-3 will mark the 61st flight of the Ariane 5, a rocket that first entered service on 4 June 1996 and has since evolved into five specific variants with only two complete failures of the rocket in its 16-year lifetime.

Via NASASpaceflight.com