ATV “Albert Einstein” Poised for Liftoff

Ready Credit : Arianespace

Credit : Arianespace

The countdown is underway at Kourou, French Guiana for this evening’s launch of the European ATV supply ship  “Albert Einstein” to the International Space Station.  Launch is scheduled aboard the Ariane V booster at precisely 6:52:11 p.m. local (5:52:11 p.m. US EDT.)  Today’s launch will mark the fourth flight of the Automated Transfer Vehicle, and the heaviest payload ever carried by the Ariane V, with a liftoff mass of 20,235 kg, coming on the vehicle’s 69th flight. 

Unlike recent Soyuz ascents, the ATV will not be arriving at the station in a hurry, with docking scheduled for June 15th.  Today’s launch will be broadcast on-line here with coverage beginning a hour before liftoff.

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