The scheduled launch of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) third resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), will be moved from 9 March 2012 to the 22-23 March time frame. A strap securing the cargo in the ICC (upper right) has become loose, and engineers will have to access the interior of the vehicle in order to reconnect the strap.
The launch had been scheduled for 3:05 Phoenix time (10:05 UTC) from Kourou, French Guiana.
The ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi will deliver 4,395 kg of propellant, oxygen, air and water to the Station. The ICC will deliver 2,450 kg of dry cargo, for a total of 6,845 kg. Previously, the Johannes Kepler (ATV-2) carried 6,600 kg of fuel and cargo to the ISS. The launch was on 15 February 2011, and docking occurred on 26 February 2011. The first ATV – the
The Edoardo Amaldi will carry a total of 6271 kg of fuel. The ATV will consume 2,200 kg on the spacecraft’s journey to the ISS, and for the de-orbit burn. Attitude control and several re-boost burns during the six month stay will use an additional 3,000 kg. The remaining 860 kg will be transferred to the Russian portion of the International Space Station for later maneuvering.
Below is a cutaway view of an Automated Transfer Vehicle illustrating the main components of the spacecraft. The launch will be carried live by ESA television at http://television.esa.int/