ESA has named the new spacecraft after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler. The first in the disposable robotic cargo ship fleet was named Jules Verne. It flew a successful debut flight in 2008 and destroyed itself intentionally at the end of its mission. The unmanned space freighter underwent extensive system testing over the last few months, and has now been approved for the final preparation stage prior to its slated launch on an Ariane 5 rocket at the end of 2010.
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