ATV George LeMaître, ESA’s fifth and last Automated Transfer Vehicle will leave for the International Space Station in 2014. Join mission manager Massimo Cislaghi as he gives an overview of its mission showing the hardware while it is still on Earth before shipment to Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Automated Transfer Vehicles are multi-function unmanned ferries sent into orbit by the European Ariane 5 launcher. Each spacecraft can deliver up to 7 tonnes of cargo to the International Space Station including supplies and equipment, water, air, nitrogen, oxygen and fuel.
Once attached, ATV refuels the Space Station and can also reboost it: ATV’s propulsion system is used to raise the Station to a higher orbit, counteracting the atmospheric drag that slowly causes the Space Station to lose attitude. ATV can even boost the Station to avoid collisions with space debris and provide attitude control.