"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean... Recently, we've managed to wade a little way out, and the water seems inviting." - Carl Sagan
Action-packed time for Albert
Albert Einstein, ESA’s unmanned cargo ferry at the International Space Station, will start pumping propellants today into the orbital outpost. This will be followed by air and oxygen transfers before it resumes boosting the Station’s orbit.
ATV-4 is the fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle to serve the Station; it was launched on 5 June and reached the complex nine days later. Since then, this European cargo carrier has been firmly attached to the Station, acting as an additional module.
All 2489 kg of dry cargo has now been carried into the Station and the crew has already loaded 1213 kg of waste into ATV. Around two more tonnes of unused equipment, rubbish and other material will be packed into the vehicle before it completes its mission in spectacular fashion as a cosmic rubbish removal van in late October, burning up safely as it reenters the atmosphere.
Image credit: NASA/ESA