Robot cargo ship: European ATV-3 cargo ship arrives at the International Space Station

By on Apr 9, 2012 in Science Comments

A European robot cargo ship has arrived at the International Space Station. The robot cargo ship, known as the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3), was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on March 23, 2012 and docked at the space station five days later, according to reports by several international news sites on Friday, April 6.

The unmanned European cargo ship reportedly carried about seven tons of supplies for astronauts at the space station. Among the supplies delivered by the robot cargo ship include water, oxygen, food, clothing, experiments and propellant.

It was reportedly the third ATV-3 launched by ESA. Reports say that these ATV vehicles were designed to automatically dock to the international space station.

ATV-3 is also known as “Edoardo Amaldi.” It was named after a well known Italian physicist who helped in the establishment of the ESA.

According to reports, the ATV-3 features a “distinctive x-wing solar arrays bathed in light from the spacecraft’s sophisticated laser guidance system.” The cylindrical robot cargo ship, measuring 35 feet (10.7 meters) long and 14.7 feet (4.5 meters) wide, flies up to 240 miles (386 kilometers) in space.

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