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'Space Freighter' On Its Way to Resupply International Space Station 85

SchrodingerZ writes "An ATV 'Space truck' [launched Friday] from Kourou base in French Guiana to the International Space Station. 'The robotic truck is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) with new supplies of food, water, air, and fuel.' It launched at 04:34 GMT for a 63 minute flight into orbit. At 20 tonnes, the ATV is the biggest ship servicing the station now that the U.S. shuttles have been retired. The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) launched with a Ariane 5 carrier rocket, it is the 'third such craft to be sent to the station by ESA (European Space Agency).' It will dock with the ISS on the night of the 28th and 29th, Paris time."
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'Space Freighter' On Its Way to Resupply International Space Station

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  • Really expensive (Score:4, Informative)

    by zrbyte (1666979) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @10:54AM (#39460839)

    Reading TFA, this resupply mission is hugely expensive compared to what SpaceX [] will deliver (if nothing goeas wrong in their next launch)

    Now, being European and all gives me some pride that the ESA is doing this and all, but the whole thing just seems so wasteful. Especially if we consider that the Dragon capsule [] will be reusable.

  • by nojayuk (567177) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:38AM (#39461069)
    About half of the ATV's payload mass delivered to the ISS is fuel for the station-keeping thrusters that are used along with the ATV's own motors to allow the ISS to maintain its orbit. The Dragon capsule only carries dry or bottled cargo that must be transfered to the station by hand and the Dragon's service module can't be used to carry out stationkeeping burns.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead