The European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle Georges Lemaître will soon deliver over 2600kg of dry cargo to the International Space Station — and even packing it looks kinda fun. The craft will take off, strapped to Ariane 5, from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana later this year.
Packing is no mean feat, either, given the forces the module will endure during launch. The ESA explains what’s involved:
All items are placed in standard bags and strapped tightly to the racks. The complete module is rotated to allow the technicians to access the ‘roof’ and ‘floor’ compartments that become the walls. Astronauts in the Space Station can unload the bags in space from all sides as they float in weightlessness.
The folks doing the packing are wearing cleanroom suits to avoid contaminating the cargo — which the astronauts in the ISS will be grateful for when they don’t catch some nasty little bug. [ESA]