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European ATV-4 spacecraft to be launched from Kourou

June 05, 2013, 6:30 UTC+3

Its overall weight together with the payload is 20.2 tonnes

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PARIS, June 5 (Itar-Tass) - The European spacecraft ATV-4 "Albert Einstein" with a store of fuel, oxygen, and water for the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is to be launched from Kourour spaceport in French Guiana at 21:52 GMT on Wednesday.

The Albert Einstein is a fourth European spacecraft setting out on a journey to the ISS. Its overall weight together with the payload is 20.2 tonnes. The ATV-4 will be the heaviest resupply space vehicle to be put into a near-Earth orbit by the carrier rocket Ariane-5. The vehicle's predecessor, named after Edoardo Amaldi. weighed half a tonne less.

According to the planned time-table, the automatic spacecraft is to dock with the ISS on June 15. The docking is to be carried out by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano who will monitor the docking process from the Zvezda (star) module, a European Space Agency official said. It is noteworthy that Parmitano is a novice aboard the orbital complex where he arrived only a week ago -- on May 29.

The launchings of European ATV spacecraft have been effected since 2008. Earlier, flights to the ISS were made by three resupply spacecraft of this type -- the Jules Verne (2008), the Johann Keppler (2011), and the Edoardo Amaldi (2012).


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