DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) launch, artwork. This is the stage at which the faring is being jettisoned from the launch rocket (an Ariane 5ES). The ATV is an unmanned resupply vehicle used by the European Space Agency to supply the International Space Station (ISS). After being released in orbit the ATV uses its thrusters to dock with the ISS. ATVs are also used to boost the ISS to reverse orbit degradation. This is the Jules Verne ATV, launched on 9 March 2008. It docked with the ISS on 3 April 2008. Five months later it separated and de-orbited with its cargo of waste, burning up in the Earth's atmosphere on 29 September 2008.
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