Science and Technology News

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coverage Set for European Cargo Delivery to Space Station

Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington      
Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston

HOUSTON -- NASA Television will broadcast live the flight of the European Space Agency's third Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ship to the International Space Station. Coverage will begin with its launch on Thursday.

The 13-ton "Edoardo Amaldi" spacecraft, named in honor of the 20th-century Italian physicist who is regarded as one of the fathers of European spaceflight, will carry 7.2 tons of propellant, water and supplies to the six crew members aboard the orbital laboratory.

An Ariane 5 rocket that will place the cargo ship into orbit is scheduled to launch at 11:34 p.m. CDT on March 22 from the Arianespace launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. NASA TV's coverage of the launch will begin at 11 p.m.

Like two predecessors that flew to the station in 2008 and 2011, the Edoardo Amaldi will conduct a slow, methodical trek to the complex under the guidance of engineers at the Automated Transfer Vehicle Control Center in Toulouse, France. It automatically will dock to the aft port of the Russian Zvezda service module at 5:34 p.m. on March 28. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 4:45 p.m.

Edoardo Amaldi is expected to remain at the outpost through early September, when it will undock and be commanded to deorbit and burn up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit

For information about the International Space Station, visit

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