"The successful launch of the ATV-3 is a major success for the German space industry. All good things come in threes and this is also true of the flight of the third automatic transfer vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS) from the European space station in Kourou this morning", said Peter Hintze, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and German Government Coordinator of Aerospace Policy.
State Secretary Hintze: "The construction of the space cargo vehicle and the reliability of its space transporters, which has already been proven in two missions, allows Germany to assert its position among the world's leading space-faring nations. The automatic space transporters, nearly fifty percent of which are manufactured by German enterprises, are tangible proof of the quality of German and European space technology."
The ATV-3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle) was named after the Italian space scientist Edoardo Amaldi. It will provide the ISS crew with food, fresh clothes, water and air and also deliver fuel, spare parts and scientific experiments.
After docking with the ISS, the ATV-3 will remain in space for five months. According to the current schedule, it will make its return flight on 27 August 2012 loaded with waste from the ISS and will burn up during its controlled re-entry into the atmosphere.