According to officials at the European Space Agency (ESA), the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) Edoardo Amaldi will blast off to Earth's orbit on March 23. Originally, the event was scheduled to take place on March 9, but a series of technical problems forced experts to delay.Under the new plan, the robotic spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 4:31 UT (5:31 CET), from the Kourou Spaceport, in French Guiana, South America. The vehicle will be delivered to space by an Ariane 5 rocket.
The purpose of the entire ATV series of vehicles is to provide yearly cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS). The Russians and the Europeans are currently the only ones who can launch robotic cargo capsules of any meaningful size.