The Jules Verne Automatic Transfer Vehicle (ATV) has successfully boosted the International Space Station (ISS) into a higher orbit. In a record 20-minute burn, the ATV boosted the 330-ton ISS by around 4.5 miles to an altitude of around 215 miles.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) ATV performed a similar maneuver on 25-Apr. Speaking at the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France, Hervé Côme, ESA’s ATV Mission Director said, “Today, Jules Verne ATV has again successfully demonstrated that it is able to perform this vital function on regular basis.” Another reboost is planned in July, with two more in August.
This is the first mission of the 19-ton unmanned ATV to the ISS. It docked automatically at the beginning of April this year, attaching itself to the end of the Russian Zvezda module. Since then the ISS crew have unloaded the supplies that the ATV brought to the station.
The ATV will remain at the ISS until September. The ISS crew will then fill it with about seven tons of garbage and send it to burn up on re-entry over the Pacific.