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50.7 MB (4.5 MB compressed)
5112 x 3468 pixels
43.2 x 29.5 cm ⏐ 17.0 x 11.6 in (300dpi)
DAVID DUCROS, ESA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS, ESA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV, top) approaching the International Space Station (ISS), artwork. This is an unmanned resupply vehicle used by the European Space Agency to supply the ISS. After being released in orbit it uses its thrusters and lasers (red) to dock with the ISS, here with the Russian Zvezda module (lower right). It is also used to boost the ISS to reverse orbit degradation. After being loaded with waste, it separates and de-orbits, burning up in Earth's atmosphere. This is the second ATV (Johannes Kepler). It launched on 16 February 2011, docked on 24 February 2011, and de-orbited on 21 June 2011.
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