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Edoardo Amaldi ATV

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Edoardo Amaldi ATV

Edoardo Amaldi ATV
Edoardo Amaldi during its approach to the ISS on 28 March 2012
Mission type ISS resupply
Operator European Space Agency
COSPAR ID 2012-010A
SATCAT № 38096
Mission duration 6 months
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type ATV
Manufacturer EADS Astrium
Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass 20,050 kilograms (44,200 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 23 March 2012, 04:34:12 (2012-03-23T04:34:12Z) UTC
Rocket Ariane 5ES
Launch site Kourou ELA-3
Contractor Arianespace
End of mission
Disposal Deorbited
Decay date Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 410 kilometres (250 mi)
Apogee 420 kilometres (260 mi)
Inclination 51.64 degrees
Period 92.73 minutes
Epoch 2 October 2012, 19:36:14 UTC[1]
Docking with ISS
Docking port Zvezda Aft
Docking date 28 March 2012, 22:51 UTC
Undocking date 28 September 2012, 21:44 UTC

The Edoardo Amaldi ATV, or Automated Transfer Vehicle 003 (ATV-003), was a European unmanned cargo resupply spacecraft, named after the 20th-century Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi.[2] The spacecraft was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on 23 March 2012, on a mission to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with propellant, water, oxygen, and dry cargo.[3][4][5]

Edoardo Amaldi was the third ATV to be built, following Jules Verne (2008) and Johannes Kepler (2011). At the time of its launch, it was the world's largest single operational spacecraft, with a total launch mass of over 20 tonnes (44,000 lb).[6] The ATV completed its mission successfully, and was deorbited on 4 October 2012, burning up in the Earth's atmosphere as planned.[7]

Mission payload

Cargo Mass
control propellant
3,150 kilograms (6,940 lb)
refuel propellant
860 kilograms (1,900 lb)
Oxygen gas 100 kilograms (220 lb)
Water 285 kilograms (628 lb)
Dry cargo
(food, clothes, equipment)
2,200 kilograms (4,900 lb)
Total 6,595 kilograms (14,539 lb)
Source: ESA[8]

Amaldi letter

In addition to its primary cargo, the ATV carried a reproduction of a letter written by its namesake, Edoardo Amaldi, in 1958. This document, whose original is of significant historical value, reflects Amaldi's vision of a peaceful and non-military European space organisation – a blueprint for the real-life ESA.

Mission summary

Edoardo Amaldi departs from the ISS on 28 September 2012.
ESA astronaut André Kuipers floats into the ATV.


Edoardo Amaldi arrived at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in August 2011 to undergo pre-launch preparations. The spacecraft was mounted on an Ariane 5ES rocket, and was launched on 23 March 2012 by Arianespace on behalf of the European Space Agency.


The ATV docked with the ISS on 28 March 2012, five days after its launch.[9] In addition to resupplying the Expedition 30 astronauts, Edoardo Amaldi used its thrusters to boost the station's altitude.[10][11]


The ATV was initially planned to undock from the ISS on 25 September 2012.[12][13] However, a command program error during the undocking procedure delayed the release,[14] and Edoardo Amaldi did not actually undock until 21:44 GMT on 28 September.[15] The spacecraft finally deorbited and performed a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean on 4 October 2012, taking with it a payload of station waste.[7]

ATV missions

Designation Name Launch date ISS docking date Deorbit date Sources
ATV-001 Jules Verne 9 March 2008 3 April 2008 29 September 2008 [16][17]
ATV-002 Johannes Kepler 16 February 2011 24 February 2011 21 June 2011 [18][19]
ATV-003 Edoardo Amaldi 23 March 2012 28 March 2012 4 October 2012 [20][21][22][23]
ATV-004 Albert Einstein 5 June 2013 15 June 2013 2 November 2013 [24][25][26][27]
ATV-005 Georges Lemaître 29 July 2014 12 August 2014 25 January 2015 [28]

See also

Similar cargo spacecraft


  1. ^ Peat, Chris (2 October 2012). "ATV-3 - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Third ATV named after Edoardo Amaldi". ESA. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Space station cargo delivery delayed about two weeks". Spaceflight Now. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "ATV-4 to carry name Albert Einstein". ESA. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Edoardo Amaldi Blog". ESA. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "ATV-3 Cargo: the world's largest spacecraft". ESA Online Videos. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Mission accomplished for ATV Edoardo Amaldi". 4 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Information Kit: ATV Edoardo Amaldi" (PDF). ESA. 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  9. ^ "European cargo craft filmed making a flawless docking with the International Space Station shortly after being spotted from Earth making its approach". Daily Mail. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  10. ^ "ISS orbit boosted by ATV Edoardo Amaldi". ESA. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  11. ^ "NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 22 May 2012".  
  12. ^ "Europe's third cargo vehicle docks with the Space Station". ESA – ATV. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Fun stuff – Edoardo Amaldi". ESA – ATV. August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  14. ^ "ATV undocking postponed". ESA – ATV. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  15. ^ "ATV-3 undocks from ISS". ESA – ATV. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Multi-Program Integrated Milestones" (PDF).  
  17. ^ "European Cargo Ship Begins Maiden Space Voyage".  
  18. ^ "Europe's second cargo freighter to fly in December". Spaceflight Now. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  19. ^ "One-day delay of final shuttle launch makes room for ATV". Spaceflight Now. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Third ATV named after Edoardo Amaldi". ESA. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Europe's third cargo vehicle docks with the Space Station". ESA – ATV. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "Deorbit burns set for Tuesday night/Wednesday morning". ESA ATV blog. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  23. ^ "Mission accomplished for ATV Edoardo Amaldi". 4 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "ATV-4 scheduled for summer liftoff". ESA. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Mission brochure – ATV Albert Einstein". ESA. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "Europe's largest spaceship reaches its orbital port". ESA. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  27. ^ "A fiery end to a perfect mission: ATV Albert Einstein". ESA. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  28. ^

External links

  • ESA – ATV
  • ESA – Edoardo Amaldi Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • "ATV-3 docks to the ISS". 29 March 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
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