Launch time was at 12:34:05 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), or approximately 0434 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 1:34 local time in Kourou, French Guiana, and 5:34 Central European Time (CET).
The European Space Agency's spaceport is located in Kourou, French Guiana, and is operated by Arianespace.
According to the March 23, 2012 CBS Space News article 'European cargo ship launched on flight to space station', the launch time was coordinated so that liftoff was ''¦ roughly the moment when Earth's rotation carried the launch site into the plane of the space station's orbit.'
Then, about one hour into the flight, the ATV-3 was rocketed into an appropriate trajectory so that it would be able to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).
CBS Space News continues with, 'If all goes well, the spacecraft will complete an automated approach to the space station on March 28, gliding to an autonomous docking at the Zvezda command module's aft port around 6:32:51 p.m.'
And, 'Expedition 30 flight engineer Oleg Kononenko and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers planned to monitor the approach from a computer work station in Zvezda. Unlike Russian Progress supply ships, the ATV cannot be manually flown by remote control, but the astronauts can send commands to abort an approach if something goes wrong.'
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