EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, D. DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, D. DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). Computer artwork showing the maiden voyage of the European Space Agency's (ESA) ATV, Jules Verne (left), approaching the International Space Station (ISS, right), 3 April 2008. ATVs are designed to carry experiments, fuel and supplies to the ISS. Whilst attached, the ATV provides extra space for the crew and takes on solid and liquid waste from the station. The ATV's thrusters are used to periodically boost the ISS orbit and it can also be used for emergency manoeuvres. After six months, the ATV is undocked from the ISS and burned up harmlessly in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
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