EADS Astrium is main contractor for the unmanned supply vehicle ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle): Designing, development, testing and integration The ATV will be used for the international space station as supply ship and transport up to 9 tons food, scientific useful load and fuel. Moreover, the space transporter should also ensure that the station is re-boosted with so-called ‘Reboost’ maneuvers for correction of its orbit, i.e. for balancing the regular height losses. At the end of its mission the ATV takes up waste and material that is not required any more by the station and burns it up in the atmosphere with proper check. The start for the first ATV called Jules Verne is planned for the second half of 2007. The precise rendezvous maneuver between Jules Verne and the ISS should take place automatically with the help of a video meter (first ever automatic optical system used for satellite navigation), while both satellites circle the earth with a speed of 28,000 km/h.
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