European Space Transporter ATV-5 Pictured in Factory
Seen here is the European Space Agency's (ESA) 5th Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) during integration at Astrium in Bremen, Germany.
ESA's ATV is the largest and most advanced spacecraft that is used to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) - and the command and propulsion part of the spacecraft will also be used to power the new Orion spaceship that is currently under development by the United States.
The first ATV docked with the ISS in 2008, carrying 6.6 tonnes of cargo to the ISS.
ATV's are designed to remain attached as a pressurised module and integral part of the Station for up to six months, with the capability of lifting the whole station with its propulsion to stay in its orbit. After that it detaches and reenters Earth's atmosphere, where it breaks up and burns, together with up to 6.4 tonnes of waste from the Station. -- ESA