An anonymous reader writes "A successful docking of the Automated Transfer Vehicle dubbed 'Jules Verne' occurred earlier this week. The first of its kind, the crewless ship reached orbit and lightly touched up against the international space station on Thursday. By now astronauts on the ISS will have opened its doors and begun air circulation in preparation of offloading the nearly 7.5 tons of fuel, oxygen, food, clothing and equipment they need to survive. The EU Space Agency sees this as a historic journey for the program: 'The Jules Verne, named after the visionary French science fiction author, is the first of a new class of station supply ships called Automatic Transfer Vehicles. The craft was built by the nations of the European Space Agency as one of Europe's major contributions to the international station. "The docking of the A.T.V. is a new and spectacular step in the demonstration of European capabilities on the international scene of space exploration," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the European Space Agency.'"