Good news from Kourou: this morning at 5.34 a.m. CET, an Ariane 5 successfully sent the third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) on its way to the International Space Station. By providing key components for both launcher and payload, MT Aerospace was once again mainly involved in the mission.
The construction of the European launcher Ariane 5 and automatic cargo ferry ATV is under the industrial prime contractor ship of Astrium and MT Aerospace is a leading supplier for both projects. The Augsburg/Germany based aerospace company is even Germany’s largest supplier of the Ariane 5 programme, delivering for example booster cases or large tank domes for the launcher’s main and upper stages. Furthermore, MT Aerospace is an important partner in the ATV programme: as for the first two missions in 2008 and 2011, main elements of the third ATV, like propellant tanks, gas and water tanks or major parts of the load-carrying structure, were manufactured in Augsburg and then delivered to Astrium.
OHB System, a sister company of MT Aerospace, also plays a crucial part in the integration of this ATV. The entire harness system and the meteoroid protection shield for the space freighter were produced at OHB’s facilities in Bremen.
MT Aerospace and OHB System, thus, again contributed substantially to the success of major European space programmes.
In almost one week, the Automated Transfer Vehicle named ”Edoardo Amaldi“ will dock automatically with the ISS, supplying the crew with water, fuel, food and clothes. Moreover, the ATV is the only vehicle which is able to lift the ISS to a higher orbit performing so-called “reboost”-maneuvers – a crucial prerequisite to keep the space station in operation. “Edoardo Amaldi” will stay docked for six months, at the end of its mission it takes waste on board and burns up into the Earth's atmosphere.
Until 2015, two more ATV missions are planned – both with involvement of MT Aerospace and OHB System.