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ATM Is Readied For Its February Launch On Ariane 5

The ATV has been designed for servicing of the ISS.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Jan 14, 2011
The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for Arianespace's year-opening mission in 2011 - which also will be the milestone 200th flight of an Ariane launcher - is ready for integration on its Ariane 5, in preparation for a February 15 liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Designed for servicing of the International Space Station, this ATV will be the second launched by Arianespace for the European Space Agency, following the orbiting of Europe's first such logistics spacecraft aboard an Ariane 5 in 2008.

The ATV for next month's mission is named after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, and it will bring cargo that includes fuel, air and water for the International Space Station's crew, along with hardware for the orbital facility.

Arianespace's launch of ATV Johannes Kepler will utilize the Ariane 5 ES version of its heavy-lift workhorse.

In the company's strategy to standardize production for quality and reproducibility, Arianespace uses two versions of the launcher: the Ariane 5 ES for missions to low-Earth orbit, including the ATV and for satellite constellations; and the Ariane 5 ECA, employed on flights to geostationary transfer orbit, primarily carrying telecommunications spacecraft - which represents a majority of its missions.

The February 15 flight with the ATV will kick off a busy 2011 for Arianespace, during which the company plans to perform 12 missions. They will use Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega in a combined total of nine launches from the Spaceport, along with three Soyuz operated from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Arianespace Will Have A Record Year Of Launch Activity In 2011
Paris, France (SPX) Jan 06, 2011
Arianespace will use the "world's best operational launch team" to meet its goal of performing a planned total of 12 missions in 2011, when the expanded launcher family of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega will be operating at the service of a growing international customer base. During his traditional New Year's kickoff press conference in Paris today, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gal ... read more

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