Space Stations

Loading ATV-5 Cargo for the International Space Station

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 2, 2014
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Loading ATV-5 Cargo for the International Space Station
Loading ATV-5 cargo.
ESA--S. Corvaja, M. Pedoussaut, 2014; Music by Hubrid-Agonie.

This time lapse video shows the cargo loading process for ESA’s fifth and last Automated Transfer Vehicle, Georges Lemaître.
ATV-5 will deliver more than 2600 kg of dry cargo to the International Space Station and packing the cargo requires careful planning and execution because it has to endure the rigours of its launch that is set for this summer on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

All items are placed in standard bags and strapped tightly to the racks. The complete module is rotated to allow technicians to access the roof and floor compartments that become the walls after rotation. Astronauts in the Space Station can unload the bags in space from all sides as they float in weightlessness.

The technicians are wearing cleanroom suits to prevent contaminating the cargo and spaceship. Living in space weakens human immune systems and every precaution is taken to avoid taking harmful bacteria and viruses to the orbital complex.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.