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Science & Exploration

N° 16–2002: Automated Transfer Vehicle under the spotlight at ESA/ESTEC

22 March 2002

On Tuesday 9 April the European Space Agency is staging the first presentation of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Europe's new multifunctional spacecraft to supply the International Space Station. This will be a unique opportunity to see the ATV in fully stacked configuration before its launch, currently scheduled for the autumn of 2004. The presentation to the media will be at ESA's Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.


The International Space Station requires regular deliveries of equipment for scientific and commercial utilisation, fuel to raise its altitude, spare parts, and food, air and water for its permanent crew. From the first operational flight of the ATV in autumn 2004, Europe's most challenging spacecraft will play a vital role in station servicing.

Depending on the operational lifetime of the Space Station, ESA will build at least 8 ATVs. The project involves 30 companies from ten European countries under the prime contractorship of EADS Launch Vehicles (France), which is also overseeing 8 companies from Russia and the United States participating in development of the spacecraft.

Media representatives are invited to attend the ATV presentation, the programme for which is as follows:

Tuesday, 9 April 2002

Venue: ESA/ ESTEC, Erasmus User Information Centre for the International Space Station - Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands

09:30 hrs: Arrival/registration

10:00 hrs: Welcome and overview of the European contributions to the International Space Station (Jörg Feustel-Büechl, ESA Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity)

10:30 hrs: The Automated Transfer Vehicle - overview, status, industrial aspects of the ATV project (Alan Thirkettle, ESA Head of Manned Spaceflight Programme Department, Robert Lainé, ESA Head of ATV Projects Division, Jean-Yves Heloret, EADS Launch Vehicles ATV Programme Manager)

11:15 hrs: An ATV user's view (Jean-François Clervoy, ESA

astronaut) 11:30 hrs: Question and answer session

12:00 hrs: Transfer to the Test Centre

12:15 hrs: Visit to the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) in the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF). Opportunities for location interviews, filming, photos

13:00 hrs : Transfer to Erasmus building

13:15 hrs : Buffet lunch in the high bay with senior ESA staff and informal visits to full-scale models of Space Station elements

14:45 hrs: Time for individual interviews and additional filming

15:15 hrs: Option: Visit to the ESA Test Centre with viewing of the flight units of the ESA scientific satellites Integral and Rosetta (opportunities for interviews with senior project staff)

16:30 hrs: End of event

Media representatives wishing to attend are kindly invited to complete the attached accreditation form and fax it to:

ESA/ESTEC Communication Office

Noordwijk, the Netherlands

Fax + 31 71 565 5728

For further information:

Heidi Graf, Head of Corporate Communication Office ESA/ESTEC

Tel. + 31 71 565 3006

Fax. + 31 71 565 5728

More on ESA at


First presentation of the Automated Transfer Vehicle

ESA/ESTEC - Noordwijk (the Netherlands)

Tuesday 9 April 2002

Name _____________________First name:_______________________

Media : ____________________________________________________

Address : __________________________________________________


Tel.:_______________________ Fax : _________________________

Mobile:_____________________ e-mail: _______________________

[ ] I will participate

[ ] I will not participate

Please fax this form back to :

ESA/ESTEC Communication Office

Fax : +31.71.565.5728


For further information:

Media Relations Office

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)