ESA title
The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)
Science & Exploration

Automated Transfer Vehicle

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / ATV

The International Space Station depends on regular deliveries of equipment and spare parts as well as food, air and water for its crew. Since its first mission in 2008 Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) has been indispensable to the International Space Station.

Every 12 months or so, ATV hauls 7.7 tonnes of cargo from its launch site in  Kourou, French Guiana to the Station 340 km above the Earth. High-precision navigation systems guide ATV on a rendezvous trajectory to the International Space Station where it automatically docks with the Station's Russian service module. ATV remains there as a pressurised and integral part of the Station for up to six months until its final mission: a fiery one-way trip into Earth's atmosphere to dispose of up to 6.4 tonnes of Station waste.

Length: 9 794 mm
Diameter: 4 480 mm
Solar arrays span: 22 281 mm
Vehicle dry mass: 10 470 kg
Vehicle consumables: 2 613 kg
Total vehicle mass: 13 083 kg
Total cargo upload capacity: 7 667 kg
Mass at launch: 19 357 kg
Waste download capacity: 6 400 kg

Launch configuration  
Cargo mass capabilities Dry supplies: 5 500 kg
Drinking water: 840 kg
Air (oxygen and nitrogen): 100 kg
Refuelling propellant: 860 kg
Reboost and attitude control propellant: 4 700 kg
Total cargo upload capacity: 7 667 kg
Launch vehicle Ariane 5 ES (inclination 51.6°, initial orbital altitude 260 km)
ATV is launched with its solar panels folded
Launch site Kourou, French Guiana
First flight 9 March 2008

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