Automated spacecraft resupplies International Space Station

The European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 (ATV-3) recently docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on a critical resupply mission.  

Flight Engineers Andre Kuipers and Oleg Kononenko monitored the 13-ton ATV-3’s approach in conjunction with flight controllers stationed in France.

The unmanned craft – named Edoardo Amaldi after the 20th century physicist – delivered 220 pounds of oxygen, 628 pounds of water, 4.5 tons of propellant and nearly 2.5 tons of dry cargo to astronauts on board the station. 

Among other items, the crew also received experiment hardware, spare parts, food and clothing.

The ATV-3 is slated to remain docked with the space station until September, when it will be loaded with waste and sent to burn up as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. 

The International Space Station – which has been continuously occupied for over 11 years – was initially scheduled to be shuttered in 2020 but may continue operating until 2028.

Currently, the station acts as a research base for astronauts from Russia, the US, Europe, Japan, and Canada.