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ATV docks autonomously with ISS
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- Title ATV docks autonomously with ISS
- Released 18/01/2010 10:16 pm
- Copyright ESA
About every 17 months, ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) delivers 7.7 tonnes of equipment, food, air and water to the International Space Station (ISS).
ATV has a system for fully automated docking with the ISS. A direct laser link with the station allows ATV to start accurate navigation to its target using GPS technology. From a distance of 249 m, the ATV computers use videometer and telegoniometer (laser-pulsed instruments that calculate the distance and orientation to the ISS) for final approach and docking. The approach slows to 7 cm/s, and the docking is completed autonomously with a precision of 1.5 cm while the two spacecraft are circling the Earth at 28 000 km/h.