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Perfect rendezvous in space

ATV-2 ‘Johannes Kepler’ reaches its destination

The most intelligent space robot in the world has docked autonomously with the International Space Station

After a flight of four million kilometres in space lasting almost a week, the ATV-2 ‘Johannes Kepler’, the second unmanned supply vehicle designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space for the European Space Agency (ESA), has executed a perfect manoeuvre to dock autonomously with the International Space Station (ISS).

On 24 February at 15:59 (GMT), the ATV-2 ‘Johannes Kepler’ docked as planned with the Russian Zvezda module. The entire docking sequence took place flawlessly.

The ATV-2 ‘Johannes Kepler’, which was launched on 16 February by a specially adapted version of the Ariane 5 rocket, has taken over seven tonnes of net freight for the space station, including 850 kg of fuel, 100 kg of oxygen and more than 1.6 tonnes of stores and provisions. The ATV-2’s cargo also contains clothing for the astronauts, the scientific experiment Geoflow II, built by Airbus Defence and Space for ESA, and various items of equipment necessary for conducting repairs and for the general operation of the ISS. The ATV additionally carries 4.5 tonnes of fuel to be used in re-boost manoeuvres for regular orbit and attitude adjustment of the ISS.

Read more: Press release

See the special dossier (articles, interview, videos) about the ATV-2 ‘Johannes Kepler’

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