The fifth and final docking of a European Space Agency cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station will air live on NASA Television Tuesday, Aug. 12, beginning at 8 a.m. EDT.
Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) 5, which is named "George Lemaitre" in honor of the 20th century Belgian astronomer and physicist credited with proposing the theory of the expansion of the universe. Loaded with more than seven tons of fuel and supplies for the station crew, the George Lemaitre is scheduled to dock automatically to the aft port of the station's Zvezda Service Module at 9:30 a.m.
The spacecraft’s arrival at the station will mark the end of a two-week journey that began July 29 with its launch on a European Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. En route to its docking, the Georges Lemaitre is scheduled to pass less than four miles under the station on Friday, Aug. 8 before looping back around for the final phase of its rendezvous. This maneuver will test a suite of lasers and sensors that may be incorporated into the design of future European spacecraft.
The Georges Lemaitre is expected to remain docked to the station until late January 2015.
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