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Fourth Euro star truck christened Albert Einstein

Space station robot delivery van honours physics legend

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The European Space Agency's next Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to roll off the production line will be called Albert Einstein.

The Johannes Kepler docking with the ISS in February 2011. Pic: ESA

Space trucks Jules Verne (ATV-1) and Johannes Kepler (ATV-2, pictured above) have already carried supplies to the International Space Station, and will be followed in February next year by Edoardo Amaldi (ATV-3).

Pressurised module of the ATV Albert Einstein being manufactured in December 2010 in Turin by Thales Alenia. Pic: ESA

Albert Einstein (ATV-4) is being built (see pic) at various sites across Europe, ahead of a 2013 launch. The name was proposed by the ESA's Swiss delegation, since although the physicist was born in Germany, he "studied and spent his early career in Switzerland". ®

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