ATV Edoardo Amaldi set for liftoff

ATV-3
21 March 2012

ESA’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle, Edoardo Amaldi, is ready for launch to the International Space Station. ESA’s formal Launch Readiness Review on Monday revealed no problems with the vessel. Launch is set for this Friday at 04:34 GMT (05:34 CET).

The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is the largest cargo vessel supplying the International Space Station with food, water supplies and propellants.

Yesterday, Arianespace conducted their readiness review for the Ariane 5 mission, VA205, that will deliver ATV to orbit. It, too, is cleared for flight.

Today, Ariane and ATV Edoardo Amaldi will be rolled to the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana. The total vehicle mass is 777 tonnes –the heaviest ever for an Ariane. This ATV is also the rocket’s heaviest payload so far.

Follow the launch live via the ESA website – the webcast starts 30 minutes before liftoff.

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