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ATV-4 campaign

‘Albert’ in final preparation phase

Europe’s next Airbus Defence and Space-built ISS resupply spacecraft enters final preparations for its Ariane 5 launch

Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to service the International Space Station (ISS) is entering its final preparation phase for a planned Ariane 5 launch this spring from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Built by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and named after Albert Einstein, the ATV-4 is being processed in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation building.

Airbus Defence and Space-built ATV-4, Europe’s next resupply spacecraft, enters final preparations for its Ariane 5 launch

Following its final preparations, ATV ‘Albert Einstein’ will be moved to the Spaceport’s launcher integration building, where the large spacecraft is to be integrated atop an Ariane 5.

Weighing approximately 20 metric tons at launch, the series of Automated Transfer Vehicles are developed in a European programme for resupply and servicing of the ISS, and they rendezvous with the orbital facility after being deployed by Ariane 5.

Produced by an Airbus Defence and Space-led industry team for the European Space Agency, this latest ATV will carry some 6,270 kg of fuel, water, air, oxygen and dry cargo to the space station. Additionally, ATVs are used to adjust the ISS’ orbital altitude and make manoeuvres to avoid collisions with space debris.

[Arianespace News]

Photos © ESA–CNES–Arianespace–Optique Vidéo du CSG