First ATV leaves Europe to prepare for launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana

Artist's impression of ESA's ATV
Artist's impression of ESA's ATV
15 June 2007

ESA PR 24-2007. Time to bid farewell to the most sophisticated spacecraft ever built in Europe. The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will leave ESA's ESTEC establishment in the Netherlands in mid-July and be shipped to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

There, it will start its launch preparation campaign which will last several months, before being launched by Ariane 5 not earlier than mid-January 2008 and, after a 12 to 15 day journey, docking automatically with the International Space Station using its own propulsion and navigation systems.

To mark the upcoming departure of this first ATV, the Jules Verne, ESA is inviting media representatives interested in covering this event to attend a Media Day on 28 June at ESTEC. This will not only feature an opportunity to see the Jules Verne in its clean room at the test centre there but also presentations by experts from ESA and industry on the latest status of the project. The programme also includes ATV photo and video opportunities as well as opportunities to interview various experts.

Media representatives wishing to attend the ATV Media Day are kindly requested to fill out the attached accreditation form and return it by fax to the ESA-ESTEC Communication Office at + 31 71 565 5728 by Tuesday 26 June at the latest.

Note for editors:

The ATV European resupply spaceship is a crucial element of the International Space Station (ISS) programme. It will deliver refuelling propellant for the Station’s own propulsion system, as well as air and drinking water for the crew. It will also transport science experiments and related hardware, thus making a major contribution to ISS logistics. The ATV will also give the Space Station an orbit reboost to overcome the effects of residual atmospheric drag. After serving for six months as a work space extension of the ISS, its final task after undocking will be to dispose of waste during a guided and controlled destructive reentry into the atmosphere, high over the Pacific.

For more information:

Rosita Suenson
ESA-ESTEC Communication Office
Communication Department
Tel: + 31 71 565 3009
Fax: + 31 71 565 5728
Rosita.Suenson@esa.int

Markus Bauer
ESA Communication Officer for the Directorate of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration
Communication Department
Phone: + 31 71 565 6799
Markus.Bauer@esa.int

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