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Forum:ESA - JAXA - China - International
Topic:ESA's ATV-5 "Georges Lemaî
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Robert Pearlman
Final European cargo freighter docks to station

The fifth and final European Space Agency (ESA) cargo spacecraft docked to the International Space Station on Tuesday (Aug. 12).

Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 (ATV-5), which was named "George Lemaitre" to honor the 20th century Belgian astronomer and physicist credited with proposing the theory of the expansion of the universe, docked to the aft port of the station's Zvezda Service Module at 8:30 a.m. CDT (1330 GMT).

The unmanned spacecraft is loaded with more than seven tons of fuel and supplies for the station crew.

The ATV's arrival at the station marked the end of a two-week journey that began July 29 with its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. En route to its docking, the Georges Lemaitre passed less than four miles under the space station on Friday (Aug. 8) before looping back around for the final phase of its rendezvous. This pass tested a suite of lasers and sensors that may be incorporated into the design of future European spacecraft.

The Georges Lemaitre is expected to remain at the station until late January 2015.

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