Mar 31, 2008

Automated Transfer Vehicle approaches ISS

The unmanned European space ship "Jules Verne" (known as the Automated Transfer Vehicle - ATV) has performed its first tasks successfully, navigating to within 3.5km of the International Space Station (ISS). The cargo space ship is carrying some five tonnes of food for the crew at the ISS. The craft must carry out two rigorous navigation rehearsal days before being allowed to attempt the delicate docking with the space station.

Jules Verne used relative GPS measurements to determine its position compared to the position of the space station, then successfully performed an "escape" manoeuvre on the instructions of ground staff, situated in Toulouse, France. Launched on March 9, the Jules Verne is expected to dock with the ISS on April 3 at 14:41 universal time.


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