Wednesday, January 30, 2008
With the launch of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle 'Jules Verne' rapidly approaching, ESA Programme managers and industry specialists participated in a media briefing at ESA Head Office in Paris, France, earlier today.
They presented an overview of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme and also took stock of the current status of the spacecraft and lead the Media through the upcoming phases: the launch, the journey to the International Space Station, the delicate manoeuvres up to docking and the complex operations related to this very challenging mission. The 20-tonne re-supply and space-tug module will be carried into orbit by a special version of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle called the Ariane 5 Evolution Storable (ES). The launcher is scheduled to lift-off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, not earlier than 22 February next.