The exterior of this new generation spacecraft is a cylinder, 10.3 metres long and up to 4.5 metres in diameter. The details of the ATV's external structure are covered with a foil layer and meteorite protection panels.
Characteristic X-shaped solar arrays extend from the spacecraft. Deployed 100 minutes after lift-off, the solar arrays reach a span of 22.3 m. The four arrays are totally independent and can rotate to get the best orientation to the Sun. They are able to produce an average of 4 800 watts - providing power to rechargeable batteries which are vital for powering ATV systems when the spacecraft is in the shadow of Earth.
Last update: 9 March 2010