Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Space truck orbits despite fault

Jonathan Amos

Europe's new ATV space truck is up and running following Sunday's launch, although one propulsion glitch means a back-up system is currently being used.

The freighter is sitting in a 260km high orbit and is due to deliver just under five tonnes of supplies to the space station on 3 April.

The anomaly has shut down seven of the 28 attitude control jets and one of the space truck's four main engines.

Engineers are now investigating with a view to getting them all back online.

Even if they cannot, the vehicle is more than capable of completing its approach and docking to the space station, say European Space Agency (Esa) officials.

The ATV cannot approach the orbiting platform until Endeavour has completed its mission.

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