Archive - Apr 26, 2008
Europe's first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo supply ship has successfully raised the International Space Station into a higher orbit in the first of four re-boost maneuvers scheduled between now and August, its manufacturer and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced Friday.
Using two of its four main engines, the ATV Jules Verne pushed the 308-ton orbital complex for a period of 12.5 minutes, increasing its speed by just over 8 feet (2.65 meters) per second and raising its altitude by 2.8 miles (4.6 km). The ATV consumed 537 pounds (244 kg) of its fuel in performing the task.
The space shuttle Discovery moved a step closer to launch early Saturday as NASA engineers hauled the spacecraft into a massive hangar to join its fuel tank and twin rocket boosters.
Discovery made the short morning move from its processing building to the cavernous, 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to prepare for its planned May 31 launch.
The shuttle's seven-astronaut crew, commanded by veteran spaceflyer Mark Kelly, will deliver Kibo - a massive Japanese laboratory the size of a tour bus - to the International Space Station during a planned 13-day mission.