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European Space Agency Shows Us How You Pack A Cargo Ship Headed To The International Space Station

02/04/2014 15:10 BST | Updated 02/04/2014 15:59 BST

How do you pack a cargo ship for a journey through space?

Carefully.

This amazing picture shows European Space Agency workers packing its fifth and last Automated Transfer Vehicle, the ATV George Lamaitre, as it prepares to send more than 2,600 kg of dry supplies to the International Space Station.

The picture shows the careful planning and 'clean room' conditions needed to send the craft to the team of astronauts orbiting Earth.

It will not be launched until the summer, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.

ESA said:

"All items are placed in standard bags and strapped tightly to the racks. The complete module is rotated to allow the technicians to access the ‘roof’ and ‘floor’ compartments that become the walls. Astronauts in the Space Station can unload the bags in space from all sides as they float in weightlessness.

The technicians are wearing cleanroom suits to prevent contaminating the cargo and spaceship. Living in space weakens human immune systems and every precaution is taken to avoid taking harmful bacteria and viruses to the orbital complex."

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