Traditionally, ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV) are named after great European visionaries to reflect Europe's deep roots in science, technology and culture.
ATV-1, which made a flawless flight in 2008, was named after French science fiction writer Jules Verne. It was followed in 2011 by ATV-2, named in honour of German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler. ATV-4, aiming for launch in 2013, will carry the name of Albert Einstein, and for the fifth mission, ATV-5, the spacecraft will be named after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître, father of the Big Bang theory.The upcoming ATV is named after the Italian physicist and space pioneer Edoardo Amaldi, who is also one of the first to propose the creation of a Space Agency at European level.In this A Roll the son of Edoardo Amaldi speaks about his father and his interest in space.
More background information can be found on: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ATV/index.html