Named after the Belgian scientist who formulated the Big Bang Theory, ATV Georges Lemaître lifted off on 29 July on an Ariane 5 ES rocket.
The Space Station depends on regular deliveries of experiment equipment, spare parts, food, air and water for its crew. It also offers a powerful manoeuvring capability to raise the Station’s altitude to combat natural orbital decay and, if required, to steer it out of the way of dangerous space debris.
Since 2008, every year and a half, an ATV has delivered about 6 tonnes of cargo some 400 km above Earth. 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.
ALTER TECHNOLOGY has done the procurement and testing of 2,5 millions of electronic components on-board the five ATVs launched in the last six years.