ESA used a little E=mc^2 and launched the Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4) resupply ship, named “Albert Einstein” in honor of the iconic physicist, famous for his handy little equation. Liftoff of the Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana occurred at 5:52 p.m. EDT (2152 GMT) on June 5, 2013. This is second-to-last of ESA’s five planned ISS resupply spacecraft; the first one launched 2008, and all have been named after scientists.
ATV-4 will take a leisurely 10 days to reach the station, with docking scheduled for June 15.
You can watch the launch video below.
The three previous ATVs were named for Jules Verne, Johannes Kepler and Edoardo Amaldi.
The 13-ton ATV-4 will deliver more than 7 tons of supplies to the station when it docks to the aft port of the Russian Zvezda service module a week from Saturday.
The cargo includes 5,465 pounds of dry cargo, experiment hardware and supplies, 1,896 pounds of propellant for transfer to the Zvezda service module, 5,688 pounds of propellant for reboost and debris avoidance maneuver capability, 1,257 pounds of water and 220 pounds of oxygen and air.
Before the ATV-4 arrives at the station, the Russian ISS Progress 51 cargo spacecraft will undock from the Zvezda port at 13:53 UTC (9:53 a.m. EDT), Tuesday, June 11.