Friday, April 4, 2008

European vessel in space

Yesterday's docking of the European space cargo Jules Verne with the ISS [International Space Station], 200 miles above the Atlantic Ocean, performed solely by artificial intelligence, was amazing.

The vessel was launched on March 9 from the Kourou spaceport in French Guinea by an Ariane rocket, and yesterday's automatic docking maneuvers were monitored from Toulouse in southwestern France. In my article of 8 February 2008 entitled Europe in space [display], I described the incorporation in the ISS of Europe’s Columbus science laboratory. The success of the safe arrival of the Jules Verne cargo vessel enhances considerably the presence of Europe in the context of the ISS, which had been largely an American and Russian affair for a long time.

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