Europe's ATV is integrated on Ariane 5

The third European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for launch by Arianespace was installed atop its Ariane 5 at the Spaceport today, marking one of the final steps in preparations for a March 9 liftoff on a servicing mission to the International Space Station.

Named after Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi, the ATV will carry dry cargo (including food, clothing, experiments and spare parts), along with water, gas and propellant for delivery to the crewed orbital facility.

This latest ATV flight in support of International Space Station operations will utilize an Ariane 5 ES version of Arianespace’s heavy-lift workhorse, underscoring the launcher’s flexibility in meeting a full range of mission requirements.

The launch of ATV Edoardo Amaldi follows Arianespace missions with Europe’s first two Automated Transfer Vehicles, performed in February 2011 and March 2008 from the Spaceport in French Guiana. 

An industry consortium led by Astrium produces the ATVs in a program managed by the European Space Agency.

Source: Arianespace
Date: Feb 10, 2012