Cargo Ship Docks With ISS

Unmanned European vessel hooks up to International Space Station
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2008 1:17 PM CDT
The Jules Verne cargo vessel approaches the International Space Station for a practice maneuver. It moved to within 36 feet of the Zvezda Service Module in rehearsal for docking on Thursday.    (AP Photo/NASA TV)
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(Newser) – European cargo vessel Jules Verne docked flawlessly today at the International Space Station, Space.com reports. The double-decker-sized space hauler has about 8 tons of supplies on board for astronauts at the station, including food and water, rocket propellant—even handwritten documents from the real Jules Verne, a 19th-century science fiction writer.

"Around the world in 26 days, the Jules Verne has pulled into port at the International Space Station," said Mission Control in Houston. European flight controllers guided the docking from France. The unmanned ship, which cost $2 billion and weighs 21 tons, is the first of up to seven such cargo vessels that Europe will send in coming years. Astronauts will fill it with garbage and send it back toward Earth in August; it will burn up upon re-entry in the atmosphere. (Read more International Space Station stories.)