Automated Transfer Vehicle, artwork

Automated Transfer Vehicle, artwork

C011/1046 Rights Managed

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Credit: DAVID DUCROS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), cutaway artwork. The ATV is an unmanned resupply vehicle used by the European Space Agency to supply the International Space Station (ISS). After launch by a rocket (not seen) the ATV uses its thrusters (rear) to dock with the ISS. Astronauts (one seen) then remove the supplies. Solar panels (blue) provide power while in orbit. ATVs are also used to boost the ISS to reverse orbit degradation. The waste-filled ATV then separates from the ISS, de-orbits and burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. Two ATVs have been launched so far: Jules Verne (2008) and Johannes Kepler (2011).

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