First ATV nearing ISS

The first European Autonomous Transfer Vehicle is nearing the International Space Station as I write this. It’s demo day 2 and it will go to 250 meters distance. Docking will be a few days later.

ESA has a live blog here. has a live thread here. Someone just posted a screen capture:

ATV nearing ISS

There’s video at NASA TVas well as ESA’s blog.

Hope all goes well. This is a bit of a competence test for ESA and the European space industry (well, those who are in this project).

This is also important from the COTS point of view – possible new craft supplying ISS for NASA.

And of course propellant depots which require rendezvous and docking or berthing.

EDIT: apparently it came to a distance of just a few meters. Here’s a pic from NASA TV snapped to the thread on

ATV close to ISS

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