The ATV resupply ship is Europe's main contribution for the operational phase of the ISS programme. The first flight is due in 2008.
The ATV will be launched by Ariane 5 every 15-18 months and will remain docked to the ISS for six months, as a pressurized and integral part of the Station, providing an additional 43 cubic-metres of volume accessible to the crew. At the end of its mission, ATV will be loaded with up to 6500 kg of wastes. After undocking, it will be sent on a re-entry trajectory leading to its disintegration in the atmosphere.
The ATV is designed to deliver up to 7400 kg of payload to the ISS. This may include up to 5500 kg of dry payload, 840 kg of water, 100 kg of gas and 860 kg of propellant. In addition, ATV will use up to 4000 kg of its own propellant for ISS reboost.
This 20 500-kg spacecraft is composed of two main elements: