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March 19-25, 2012 / Vol 31, No 12 / Hawai`i Island, USA

16 Mar 2012, 21:44 UTC
March 19-25, 2012 / Vol 31, No 12 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi Set for Launch March 23 on Mission to Resupply and Reboost Orbit of ISS
The 3rd operational mission of the European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, is scheduled to launch aboard an Ariane 5 ES configuration rocket from ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana on March 23 at 04:31UT. Named after the Physicist who founded the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, CERN and ESRO, the Edoardo Amaldi spacecraft will deliver supplies including food, experiments, spare parts, clothing, 100kg of air & oxygen, 285kg of water, and 3150kg of ISS propellant. The craft will use its main propulsion system consisting of 4×490 Newton thrusters and an attitude control system of 28×220 Newton thrusters to perform an orbit reboost of the station to a higher altitude, helping to compensate for the effects of atmospheric drag. Initial rendezvous is conducted using GPS and a star tracker, then data from videometer and telegoniometer equipment guides approach and docking to the Russian built Zvezda Service Module. The highly specialized vehicle is primarily autonomous but overall mission control and ISS integration / coordination is based out of Toulouse Space Centre in France. The next ATV mission, Albert Einstein, is scheduled for launch in February ...

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