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Raumfahrt - Start von ESA´s ATV4-Albert-Einstein

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12.01.2013

Team members load the ATV Albert Einstein’s Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) in the S5 payload processing facility (photo at left).  A head-on view (at right) shows one of the cargo bags being positioned for transfer into the ICC.

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Cargo loading underway with the next ATV resupply spacecraft to be launched by Ariane 5

Ariane Flight VA213

Arianespace’s busy Ariane 5 flight schedule in 2013 includes the company’s fourth launch of an Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to the International Space Station, with cargo loading of the large resupply spacecraft now underway in French Guiana.

The latest ATV – named after Albert Einstein – is scheduled for a liftoff this spring, following Arianespace’s flights that deployed the previous 20-metric-ton-category payloads in March 2012, February 2011 and March 2008.

ATV Albert Einstein’s cargo loading began in late 2012, and is continuing this month – with the activity performed in the S5C large preparation hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload processing facility. 

The ATV program is part of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station’s operation, and is managed by the European Space Agency.  Prime contractor is the Astrium division of EADS, which leads a European industry team.

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Update: 27.01.2013

Kourou, January 2013: Albert Einstein has emerged from a 12-day hibernation. This fourth ATV is on schedule for on-time delivery to ESA for its planned launch on 18 April 2013. Shortly before Christmas, the integration team fitted the solar panels to the spacecraft and checked the propulsion and piping systems for leaks and functional reliability, thereby initiating the flight preparation phase. The water tanks were filled with approximately 560 litres of drinking water. The majority of the payload was securely stowed in the ICC (Integrated Cargo Carrier) during the Dry Cargo Integration process. In addition, initial set-up work was completed on the ground systems for fuelling. Knowing there is a busy time ahead at the beginning of 2013 all possible preparations have been made: mating the ICC and the spacecraft in January, fuelling in February. March and April will see further test phases and Late Cargo Loading, where the final payload bags will be loaded into the module.

Further pictures can be found hereafter…

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Surrounded by scaffolding and ground testing systems, the ICC cargo module (right) and spacecraft (rear left) of ATV-4 await mating and subsequent flight preparations. Water and most of the cargo have been on board since late 2012; fuel is to follow in February/ March. The launch is scheduled for 18 April.

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A glimpse inside the ICC of the ATV shortly before the cargo was loaded. The ATV team successfully completed loading before Christmas. The ICC was sealed during the first week in January. The only access is now via the narrow hatch, which the astronauts will later have to pass through.

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The test adapter is installed in the ICC with precision and according to strict procedures.

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Checks for leakages in the re-fuelling system are carried out in a vacuum using liquid nitrogen.

Quelle: arianespace / Astrium

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Update: 8.02.2013

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Launcher preparations begin for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission with the Automated Transfer Vehicle
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Ariane Flight VA213
The launcher for Arianespace’s fourth flight with an Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is rapidly taking shape at the Spaceport, preparing it for liftoff in the spring from French Guiana with the International Space Station’s latest resupply spacecraft.
During activity this month in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the heavy-lift vehicle’s core cryogenic stage was suspended over the mobile launch table, followed by positioning of its two solid propellant boosters. 
The launcher’s EPS storable propellant upper stage will then be installed, readying the Ariane 5 for transfer to the Final Assembly Building, where the latest ATV – named after Albert Einstein – is to be mated.
Produced by an Astrium-led industry team for the European Space Agency, the Automated Transfer Vehicles are designed to deliver water, fuel, food and scientific equipment to the International Space Station.  Additionally, the ATVs are regularly used in re-boosting the crewed orbital facility to its operational orbit of approximately 400 km., as well as for carrying out maneuvers to avoid collisions with space debris.
Arianespace lofted the first ATV aboard an Ariane 5 in March 2008, followed by launches of the two others in February 2011 and March 2012. 
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Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage is suspended over the launch table in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building.  The two solid propellant boosters were then rolled out for mating to the core stage.
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Quelle: arianespace

Update: 15.03.2013

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Arianespace receives the Ariane 5 for its upcoming launch with Europe’s ATV resupply spacecraft

The Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building has welcomed its second Ariane 5 of 2013 as preparations in French Guiana advance for Arianespace’s fourth heavy-lift launch of an Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
This Ariane 5 ES version was moved from the Launcher Integration Building to the Final Assembly Building today, marking its delivery to Arianespace by vehicle prime contractor Astrium. With this step completed, the workhorse vehicle is now ready for integration of its ATV payload – which is named after Albert Einstein.
Produced by an Astrium-led industry team for the European Space Agency, the Automated Transfer Vehicles are designed to deliver water, fuel, food and scientific equipment to the International Space Station.  Additionally, the ATVs are regularly used in re-boosting the orbital facility to its operational orbit of approximately 400 km. and for carrying out maneuvers to avoid collisions with space debris.
Arianespace’s Ariane 5 orbited the first ATV in March 2008, followed by launches of two others in February 2011 and March 2012.
Planned for the May/June timeframe, Arianespace’s upcoming flight with ATV Albert Einstein is designated Flight VA213 to signify the 213th flight of an Ariane family vehicle since 1979. 
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Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 3.04.2013 

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Europe's next ATV resupply spacecraft enters final preparations for its Ariane 5 launch
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Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to service the International Space Station is entering its final preparation phase for a planned Ariane 5 launch this spring from French Guiana on Arianespace’s Flight VA213.
Named after Albert Einstein, the ATV is being processed in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation building, where it was transferred yesterday from the facility’s S5C large preparation hall into its S5B high-bay area.  Riding on an air cushion pallet, the ATV was efficiently moved within the S5 building using internal transfer corridors that are maintained to clean-room conditions.
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 Ariane 5.
Weighing approximately 20 metric tons at launch, the series of Automated Transfer Vehicles are developed in a European program for resupply and servicing of the International Space Station, and they rendezvous with the orbital facility after being deployed by Ariane 5. 
Produced by an Astrium-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 commonly used to adjust the International Space Station’s orbital altitude and make maneuvers to avoid collisions with space debris.
Flight VA213 signifies the 213th flight of an Ariane with this workhorse family of launchers since 1979.  Arianespace is responsible for launching all ATVs, and has orbited three of them to date: ATV Edoardo Amaldi in 2012, ATV Johannes Kepler in 2011 and ATV Jules Verne in 2008. 
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At the Spaceport in French Guiana, the ATV Albert Einstein payload for Arianespace Flight VA213 is moved into the S5B high-bay area on an air cushion pallet for its final pre-launch preparations.
Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 11.04.2013

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Fuel for the Russian engines: 860 kg (loading 2 & 11 April)
(Russian) Water for the Crew: 570 kg loaded
Air and O2: 66kg & 33kg, respectively (loading 13 & 15 April)
Fuel for boosting ISS orbit: 2235kg (loading 19/20 & 25/26 April)
Dry cargo: 2501kg (partly complete; late load cargo loaded in May)
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Update: 14.04.2013
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The European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday announced it would launch the fourth, and heaviest, in a series of hi-tech cargo vehicles to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 5.
Named the Albert Einstein, the freighter will deliver 2.5 tonnes of dry cargo, ranging from food and scientific experiments to spare parts and clothing, as well as fuel, water and oxygen.
The total mass of the vehicle, its contents and fuel, will come to 20.235 tonnes, "making this spacecraft the heaviest ever lofted into orbit by an Ariane rocket," ESA said.
The Albert Einstein is scheduled to dock with the ISS on June 15, 10 days after launch, it added.
ESA has a contract to build and deliver five so-called Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) as part of its contribution to the ISS.
The robot craft, each the size of a double-decker bus, are designed to make one-way trips.
They are launched by an Ariane 5 heavy rocket from ESA's base in Kourou, French Guiana.
After detaching from the launcher, the ATVs navigate their way to the orbital outpost by starlight and dock automatically.
They provide stores for the ISS crew and additional living space for the duration of their mission.
The ATVs also use on-board engines to boost the ISS, whose altitude drops because it is in low orbit and dragged by lingering atmospheric molecules.
At the end of their trip, filled with garbage and human waste, the craft detach and burn up in a controlled destruction over the South Pacific.
The fifth and last ATV, named after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaitre, the father of the "Big Bang" theory, is due to be launched in 2014.
Quelle: ESA
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Update: 16.04.2013
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A fuelling operator at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana inspects progress as ATV Albert Einstein is filled with propellant to take to the International Space Station.
Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) can deliver up to 7 tonnes of cargo to the International Space Station, including supplies and equipment, water, air, nitrogen, oxygen and fuel.
As the Space Station circles Earth, it slowly loses altitude so ATVs reboost the orbit to keep it aloft. Part of ATV’s cargo includes propellants for the Station’s own thrusters to keep the orbital outpost at the right height even when no spacecraft are there to offer a helping hand.
Loading the fuel is a complex and hazardous process that takes place over many days during continuous sessions of up to 30 hours. Should there be a leak, the operators are protected by ‘scape suits’ that deliver fresh air and are sealed off from the working environment, much like diving suits.
The operators must remain vigilant at all times, constantly checking progress and signs of leaks. To make matters more complicated, ATV own propellants are different to those used by the International Space Station itself, requiring different equipment each time.
Both fuels need separate oxidisers for combustion outside of Earth’s atmosphere. The oxidisers are also loaded separately, meaning that four different liquids are being pumped into Albert Einstein’s tanks in total.
For the operator in the picture, this could have been a start of a very long day.
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Quelle: ESA

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Update: 18.05.2013

ATV Albert Einstein is installed on its Ariane 5 launcher for Arianespace’s next heavy-lift mission

Arianespace marked one of the final steps in preparations for the next Ariane 5 launch as Europe’s latest Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) was integrated atop the heavy-lift workhorse at the Spaceport.

This latest ATV – named after German-born physicist Albert Einstein – was lowered by an overhead crane onto its Ariane 5 inside the 90-meter-tall Final Assembly Building in French Guiana.

The payload fairing – which will complete the launcher build up – will be mounted closer to the launch date, allowing for loading of late cargo for the ATV’s International Space Station servicing mission. This second Ariane 5 flight of 2013 is scheduled for a June 5 liftoff.

Integration of the ATV Albert Einstein for Ariane Flight VA213 is part of this month’s activities on four parallel missions involving Arianespace’s complete launcher family at the Spaceport – including the successful orbiting of three passengers by the lightweight Vega vehicle on May 7. Rounding out this month’s action in French Guiana are ongoing preparations for the medium-lift Soyuz Flight VS05, scheduled for June to loft four O3b Networks satellites; and Flight VA214, set in the second half of July with an Ariane 5 to carry the Alphasat and Insat-3D satellites.

Flight VA213’s ATV Albert Einstein will have a liftoff mass of 20,235 kg. – the heaviest payload ever lofted by any Ariane vehicle. In addition to resupply, the ATV will be used for maneuvering the International Space Station.

Built by an Astrium-led industry team, ATV Albert Einstein will be the fourth such servicing vehicle launched by Arianespace for the European Space Agency.

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ATV Albert Einstein is lowered into position for integration with its Ariane 5 launcher inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building as preparations near completion for next month’s mission.

Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 27.05.2013

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Update: 3.06.2013

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Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with its heaviest payload ever has been given the “GO” for liftoff from French Guiana on a June 5 flight to service the International Space Station with Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
The green light was provided today following the Launch Readiness Review, which verified the status of Ariane 5 and its ATV payload – named after Albert Einstein, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the downrange tracking network.
All is now set for Ariane 5’s rollout to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone tomorrow, followed by the final countdown for an evening liftoff on Wednesday. 
For its phasing to rendezvous with the International Space Station, the ATV’s launch is set at a precise moment on June 5 – which will be at 6:52:11 p.m. local time in French Guiana, based on the latest orbital calculations from the European Space Agency’s flight dynamics team.
ATV Albert Einstein is part of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station program, and its liftoff mass of 20,235 kg. marks the heaviest spacecraft ever launched by Europe – carrying the largest dry cargo load to be ferried by any of the Automated Transfer Vehicles.  
Installed aboard the ATV are scientific experiments, water, gases, propellant, spare parts, food and clothing.  Certain elements of its cargo are being delivered on behalf of other international partners involved in the orbital station, and include items for the U.S. NASA and Japanese JAXA space agencies.
Arianespace has launched all three of the ATVs orbited to date, with the previous resupply craft lofted by Ariane 5s in March 2008, February 2011 and March 2012. 
The European Space Agency manages the ATV program, with an Astrium-led industry consortium responsible for producing the resupply spacecraft.
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Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 5.06.2013  ATV4 

Update: LIVE-Frams von Start

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Update: 6.06.2013

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Europe has launched its giant robotic freighter towards the International Space Station (ISS)
The vehicle, dubbed Albert Einstein, is carrying food, water, equipment and fuel for the orbiting outpost.
The space truck left Earth on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 18:52 local time (21:52 GMT) on Wednesday.
At 20.2 tonnes, the Albert Einstein freighter is the heaviest spacecraft ever launched by Europe.
The vessel will spend the next 10 days performing checks and manoeuvres designed to take it to the vicinity of the 415km-high station.
A fully automated docking is planned for Saturday 15 June.
The European Space Agency (Esa) astronaut Luca Parmitano will be in position at the rear of the ISS to watch the attachment.
The Italian only arrived in orbit himself last week and the freighter will be carrying some special supplies specifically for him, including a range of national foods such as lasagne and risotto.
Albert Einstein - also known by its generic name Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) - is the fourth such vehicle produced by Esa and European industry. One more vehicle is planned to fly next year.
The ATV assembly line will then be turned over to producing a propulsion unit for Nasa's new crew ship, Orion.
This vehicle will take astronauts beyond the space station to destinations such as asteroids and Mars. It will need a "service module" to push it through space and Nasa has engaged Esa to adapt ATV technology for the purpose.
Albert Einstein will stay attached to the ISS until October. Astronauts will gradually remove its 6.6 tonnes of supplies, replacing them with rubbish that has built up on the platform. When the freighter leaves the platform, it will take this refuse into a destructive dive into the Earth's atmosphere.

 

 

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