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  ESA's ATV-5 "Georges Lemaître" cargo mission

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Author Topic:   ESA's ATV-5 "Georges Lemaître" cargo mission
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30192
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-16-2012 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency (ESA) release
Fifth ATV named after Georges Lemaître

ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicles are an essential contribution by Europe to running the International Space Station. Naming the fifth after Belgian scientist Georges Lemaître continues the tradition of drawing on great European visionaries to reflect Europe's deep roots in science, technology and culture.

The first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which made a flawless flight in 2008, was named after French science fiction writer Jules Verne. It was followed in 2011 by ATV-2, named in honor of German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.

It will be the turn of the third ATV, named after the Italian physicist and space pioneer Edoardo Amaldi, to head towards the space station on March 9. ATV-4, aiming for launch in early 2013, carries the name of Albert Einstein.

Above: Backdropped by a blanket of clouds, ATV-1 Jules Verne departs from the International Space Station in 2008.

Naming the last vehicle of the family, ATV-5, after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître, father of the Big Bang theory, continues this approach.

The name, proposed by Belgium's delegation to ESA, was endorsed on 14-15 February by the ESA Program Board responsible for space station matters during a meeting at ESA Headquarters in Paris.

ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain said, "Belgium has been a key participant in the European space adventure since its very beginning.

"Its contribution to ESA programs and activities in general, and to the International Space Station in particular, has been a success for both Belgium and ESA.

"By naming ATV-5 after Georges Lemaître, we honor a world-class Belgian scientist who was instrumental in expanding our knowledge of the origins of the universe."

The Belgian Minister responsible for Space, Paul Magnette, noted: "I am extremely happy that the great Belgian scientist George Lemaître, born in my hometown, is honored in this way.

"This shows that his work and achievements have not been forgotten and are still relevant so many decades on.

"Clearly, Belgium's involvement in space in Europe has deep roots and is based on a long tradition.

"The ATV "Georges Lemaître" will carry supplies to the ISS, allowing today's — equally excellent — Belgian researchers to carry out experiments and research on the ISS, thus pushing the boundaries of human knowledge forward in the tradition of Georges Lemaître."

The space station depends on regular deliveries of experiment equipment and spare parts, as well as food, air and water for its crew.

Since 2008, every year and a half, an ATV has delivered about 6 tonnes of cargo some 400 km above Earth.

After launch on an Ariane 5 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, ATV automatically navigates to a precision docking with the Station's Russian Zvezda module.

It remains attached to the ISS for up to six months before reentering the atmosphere and deliberately burning up together with several tonnes of Station waste.

About Georges Lemaître

Above: Georges Lemaître at Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium.

Georges Lemaître was born on 17 July 1894 in Charleroi, Belgium. He obtained his doctorate in physics and mathematics in 1920 and was ordained a priest in 1923.

He then became a graduate student in astronomy at the University of Cambridge in England studying cosmology, stellar astronomy and numerical analysis.

In 1925, after two years of studies at Harvard and MIT in the USA, he returned to Belgium and became a full-time professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he remained for the rest of his career.

In 1927, he discovered a family of solutions to Einstein's relativity equations that described an expanding Universe rather than a static one, and provided the first observational estimation of the Hubble constant. The theory later became much better known as the Big Bang theory.

Lemaître was awarded the highest Belgian scientific distinction and was appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1936, remaining active there in until his death in 1966, shortly after having learned of the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation that provided further proof of his theory about the birth of the Universe.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30192
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-29-2014 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency (ESA) release (excerpts)
Last Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to launch

ESA's fifth, and last, Automated Transfer Vehicle is scheduled for launch to the International Space Station at 6:47 p.m. CDT (2347 GMT) on Tuesday (July 29) on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ATV-5 will deliver more than six tons of cargo to the station, again breaking the record for the heaviest spacecraft launched on Ariane. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the orbiting outpost on Aug. 12 for an automated docking with the Russian Zvezda service module.

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst will be the first to open the hatch of ATV "Georges Lemaître" in space when he takes responsibility for the cargo as 'loadmaster.'

Gerst will manage the unloading of 6.6 ton of experiments, spare parts, clothing, food, fuel, air, oxygen and water for the six astronauts living in the weightless laboratory.

Cargo for science

The star of ATV-5's manifest is ESA's Electromagnetic Levitator, which will study metals suspended in weightlessness as it heats them to 1600°C and then allows them to cool.

Since the station does not have a washing machine, cargo ships often bring fresh changes of clothes for the crews. This time, ATV-5 is also carrying high-tech ESA Spacetex t-shirts that promise to stay fresher for longer.

Also aboard is the Haptics-1 touchy-feely joystick, which will investigate how people feel tactile feedback in space, preparing for remote robotic operations from orbit.

Cargo for life

The Georges Lemaître is carrying many more experiments from station partners in Japan and the United States, from Zebrafish muscles to body-motion analyzers, and even the mundane equipment any self-respecting laboratory stocks such as gloves, wipes, blood tubes and sample kits.

ATV-5 will also deliver more drinking water than ever before, as well as replenishing the astronauts' food store.

Gerst and his crewmates will spend many hours unloading the cargo, but there is no rush – Georges Lemaître will stay attached to the station for around six months.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30192
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-29-2014 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Europe's fifth and final ATV freighter flying to space station

Europe's line of space freighters is going out with a (big) bang.

Christened the "Georges Lemaître" after the Belgian priest and astronomer who proposed what became the Big Bang theory of the universe's origin, the final European Space Agency (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) lifted off Tuesday (July 29) and immediately became the heaviest vehicle launched by Europe's venerable Ariane 5 rocket.

The 13-ton spacecraft, now on its way to the International Space Station, rose from the ELA-3 pad at the European-run spaceport in Korou, French Guiana at 7:47 p.m. EDT (2347 GMT; 8:47 p.m. local time). The Georges Lemaître will deliver more than seven tons of science experiments, food, supplies and fuel to the space station when it arrives on Aug. 12.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30192
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-12-2014 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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