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Automated Transfer Vehicle

The International Space Station (ISS) depends on deliveries of food, water, clean clothes, and equipment for its crew. Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) was one of the indispensable ISS supply spaceships.

Every 12 months or so, the ATV hauled 7.5 tons of cargo from its Kourou launch site in French Guiana to the Station. Like the Russian Progress cargo modules, it was designed to automatically dock with the Station's Russian service module. An ATV remained docked for up to six months. It was then filled with trash and be destroyed in the Earth's atmosphere.

The ATV was pressurized, allowing crew members to enter wearing normal clothing.

The first ATV (ATV-1) was known as "Jules Verne". It was launched by an Ariane-5ESV on 9 March 2008. ATV-1 docked with the ISS from 3 April 2008 to 5 September 2008. Deorbit and burn occurred on 29 September 2008.

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The second ATV (ATV-2) is named "Johannes Kepler". Launch was on 16 February 2011. The launch vehicle was again an Ariane-5 from the Arianespace launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Planned de-orbit and burn occurred 21 June 2011.


The third ATV (ATV-3) is named "Edoardo Amaldi" in honor of Edoardo Amaldi (1908-1989) who was a co-founder of CERN and of ESA's precursor ESRO. Launch took place 23 March 2012, again using an Ariane-5 from the Arianespace launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Docking occurred 28 March 2012.


ATV-4, "Albert Einstein" launched 5 June 2013. Docking occurred 15 June 2013.


Fifth and final ATV-5, "Georges Lemaître" launched 29 July 2014.


CraftLaunch DateLaunch TimeInitial Dock DateInital Dock TimeFinal Undock DateFinal Undock TimeReentry DateReentry TimeStationNotes
Jules Verne9 March 200804:03:043 April 200814:45:005 September 200821:29:0029 September 200813:43:00ISS 
Johann Kepler16 February 201121:51:0224 February 201115:59:0320 June 201114:46:3321 June 201120:52:00ISS 
Edoardo Amaldi23 March 201204:34:0028 March 201222:31:0028 September 201221:44:003 October 201201:30:00ISS 
Albert Einstein5 June 201321:52:1815 June 201314:07:0028 October 201308:55:002 November 201312:04:00ISS 
Georges Lemaitre29 July 201423:47:4512 August 201413:30:0014 February 201513:42:0015 February 201518:04:00ISSFinal ATV


Page last modified: 11 February 2022 09:16:15.