Europe's cargo spacecraft docks with orbital station

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MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Europe's space freighter, Jules Verne, has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), bringing supplies to support the operation of the orbital station for another six months, Russian Mission Control said on Thursday.

"The docking was conducted in automated mode and the ISS crew did not have to intervene," a Mission Control spokesman told RIA Novosti.

The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is Europe's largest spacecraft to contribute to the ISS program. It was launched aboard an Ariane-5 rocket on March 9 from the Kourou space center in French Guiana and carries over 7.5 metric tons of supplies and fuel for the ISS.

The ATV, built by a space consortium led by the European aerospace group EADS, carries three times the cargo of Russia's Progress spacecraft and is expected to become the main space freighter supplying the ISS in the future.

Named after a famous 19th century French sci-fi writer, the spacecraft will remain docked to the Russian Zvezda module for up to six months and used as a temporary store before detaching itself and burning up on reentry to Earth's atmosphere along with waste material from the ISS.

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