Europe cargo rocket lifts off

Ariane-5 launches on debut trip to deliver supplies to international space station.

    The rocket was launched from the ATV
    control room in Toulouse, France [AFP]


    After being placed in orbit, the ATV will use its solar panels and find its way to the International Space Station to dock with it.
     
    It will deliver seven and a half tonnes of food, water, pressurised air, fuel and personal items to the ISS crew.
     
    After six months or so, the craft will detach from the ISS, taking with it rubbish accumulated during the station's mission.
     
    This first module has been dubbed Jules Verne in honour of the visionary 19th-century French science fiction writer.
     
    It is the first ATV that Europe has committed to the ISS programme.
     
    The ESA, which has four more cargo ships planned, has so far spent $2bn on the programme.
     
    Deployment of the ATV has been put off for about four years because of delays in assembling the ISS after the loss of the shuttle Columbia in February 2003.
     
    Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, hailed the successful launch as a "major European contribution" to the ISS's functioning.
     
    In a joint statement Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, and Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the European affairs minister, said it was a "result of European co-operation in strategic top technology".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.