ATV Johannes Kepler mounted inside the CCU container for transport to the final assembly building
ATV Johannes Kepler mounted inside the CCU container for transport to the final assembly building (the BAF - Batiment d’Assemblage Finale) at Kourou on 20 January 2011. ESA's Nico Dettmann, Head of the ATV Production Programme, stands in front.
The International Space Station (ISS) depends on regular deliveries of experiment equipment and spare parts, as well as food, air and water for its permanent crew. Since its first voyage in April 2008, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) has been an indispensable ISS supply ship.
With launch scheduled in just 18 days, experts from ESA, partner agencies and industry teams are in the busy final stage of making ATV Johannes Kepler ready for space. Liftoff is set for 15 February at 22:07 GMT (23:07 CET) from Kourou. After eight days of orbital manoeuvres that will enable the Automated Transfer Vehicle to synchronise its orbit with that of the International Space Station, the cargo vessel will dock on 23 February.