Thursday, July 31, 2014

ESA Ariane 5 ES launches ATV-5 Georges Lemaître en route to the ISS

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Europe’s ATV-5 cargo ship has set sail on a 14 day journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday.

The final ATV mission began when the vehicle’s Ariane 5 ES carrier rocket launched the “Georges Lemaître” from the Guiana Space Centre, in Kourou, French Guiana at 23:47 UTC.

Arianespace’s latest ATV mission in support of International Space Station operations was designated as Flight VA219 in the company’s numbering system, and utilised an Ariane 5 ES version of the heavy-lift workhorse.

ATVAs the ATV has the largest cargo carrying capability of all the ISS Visiting Vehicles (VVs), it also has the ability to perform ISS reboosts.
Z7645The ATV is named after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître, carrying on the naming tradition of the European cargo hauler that began with “Jules Verne” in March 2008, which was followed by “Johannes Kepler” in February 2011, “Edoardo Amaldi” in March 2012, and last June’s flight with “Albert Einstein.”

ATV Georges Lemaître is Europe’s fifth, and final, Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the crewed orbital facility.

It is also the heaviest-ever payload orbited by Ariane 5, with a liftoff mass greater than 20 metric tons.

ATV-5 is carrying a large load of both internal (dry) and propellant (wet) cargo. Specifically, the pressurized Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) section will carry around 2,600kg of cargo, including food, crew provisions, and scientific hardware.

The Service Module (SM) is carrying 570kg of water, 100kg of gas (air and oxygen), 2,230kg of propellants available for ISS reboosts, and 860kg of propellants for transfer to the Russian Segment (RS).

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