ATV-2 success: "The future of space transportation is on its way"

D/HSF at the Control Centre of Jupiter Building in Kourou, French Guiana.
16 February 2011

From the control room of the Jupiter building in Kourou, French Guiana, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight Simonetta Di Pippo witnessed the flawless launch of the second Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-2) at Europe’s Spaceport.

The lift off had been postponed the day before due to an anomaly in the liquid oxygen propellant tank of the Ariane 5 launcher. As foreseen by the ATV team in case of delay, mission controllers checked the data and verified that all the systems were ready for this second attempt.

Simonetta Di Pippo shared the moment with senior representatives of the industries involved, politicians and international media. Around one hundred people travelled there to see it happening and support the promising vehicle, dubbed Johannes Kepler, in its vital mission to the International Space Station.

“We have worked hard, and we will keep doing it to assure the future of space transportation. Johannes Kepler is a great example of the wave of innovation ‘made in Europe’. The future of space transportation is on its way,” she said.

ESA Director of Human Spaceflight had also the chance to visit the launch pads of Ariane, Vega and Soyuz, as well as to get closer to the frantic activity at the Ariane 5 control centre during the launch.

Simonetta Di Pippo at the Control Centre. Kourou, French Guiana.

This was also the 200th mission for the European launcher. “The launch was a total success, a perfect choreography of the European space industry. It proved that Europe is an independent space power aiming to inaugurate an autonomous era of space exploration”.

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