PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
ISS supply vehicle solar panels. Technician using a head-worn magnifier to examine the solar panels for the European Space Agency's automated transfer vehicle (ATV). The ATV is an unmanned vehicle that will be used to send supplies, including water, air, propellant and food, to the International Space Station (ISS). Once docked, the crew will be able to enter the pressurised cargo hold through the hatches. After a stay of approximately six months the ATV, now full with waste from the ISS, will detach from the station and head to Earth, burning up upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere. The ATV has been in development for several years. The first ATV was completed in July 2007 and is scheduled for launch in early 2008.
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