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European cargo ship to be launched towards ISS March 23

March 08, 2012, 22:34 UTC+3
European cargo spacecraft ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi will be launched towards the International Space Station March 23
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PARIS, March 8 (Itar-Tass) – European cargo spacecraft ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi will be launched towards the International Space Station March 23, the European Space Agency said Thursday.

The Ariane 5 carrier rocket is due to lift off from the French space center in Guiana at 04:31 GMT March 23 and the ATV-3 will dock to the Russian service module Zvezda, which is part of the ISS, March 28 or 29.

According to the ESA information, the exact date of the docking will be known after the cargo craft is launched.

The ship’s launch into orbit has been postponed several times – for instance, ESA put it off indefinitely in the first days of this month without specifying any concrete reasons.

The ATV-3 that was baptized Edoardo Amaldi in honor of an Italian physicist is expected to deliver a payload of 4.3 tons to the ISS. The cargo includes fuel, oxygen and water for the ISS Expedition.

Also, the ship is due to trim the ISS orbit.

Initial plans indicated it was to dock to the station March 19.

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