ESA Sets ATV-3 Launch for 23 March 2012

ATV-Soyuz-Apollo
Comparison of the ATV Spacecraft and the Russian Soyuz and the American Apollo
Image Credit: ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) has confirmed the launch date and time for the Edoardo Amaldi (ATV-3): Friday 23 March at 0431 UTC (Thursday evening at 9:31 PM Phoenix time).

An accelerated docking schedule will bring the resupply vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 28 March at 2251 UTC.

In September, having been filled with trash from the ISS, the ATV will undock, perform a retro rocket firing, and burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

The ESA ATV is currently the largest resupply vehicle supporting the ISS (See the comparison above). ATV-3 will carry the largest load of dry cargo to the ISS than any previous ATV mission:

  • ATV-1 in 2008: 1150 kg
  • ATV-2 in 2011: 1605 kg
  • ATV-3 in 2012: 2201 kg

Currently, there is no spare Fluids Control Pump Assembly (FCPA) on the space station. This is a critical component on the ISS used to recycle urine into drinkable water and the spare is going up with ATV-3.

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3 thoughts on “ESA Sets ATV-3 Launch for 23 March 2012

  1. Pingback: Edoardo Amaldi Launch « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  2. Pingback: Edoardo Amaldi Launch « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  3. Pingback: Edoardo Amaldi Resuppy Mission to the ISS « National Space Society Blog

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