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Look: Astronauts Capture Amazing Photo of Spacecraft's Fiery End

The cargo ship disintegrated in a ball of fire as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere
Related: Space
NASA/ESA
Astronauts onboard the International Space Station captured this amazing image of a robotic spacecraft disintegrating into a fiery ball on Nov. 2, 2013. The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), named Albert Einstein, was destroyed as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere after completing its mission.

ATVs carry cargo to the ISS every 17 months. They then spend up to six months at the station, where they are filled with waste. The ATVs are then detached and sent back through Earth's atmosphere, where they inevitably disintegrate. Albert Einstein docked at the ISS on June 15, 2013, and five months later, the ATV was filled with waste and jettisoned toward Earth.

The ESA's control center in Toulousse, France, directed Albert Einstein's descent so that its destruction occurred over an uninhabited area of the Pacific Ocean. Astronauts photographed the incredible display when Albert Einstein was about 62 miles directly below them. It is the first view of an ATV reentry since the first, an ATV called Jules Verne, in 2008.



RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Amazing Photos of the International Space Station (ISS)
International Space Station ISS

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Briknstone

now why would they have it go back to earth if they are just destroying garbage and equipment- why not into space or towad the sun, and not risk something NOT burning up and worring about putting over the ocean??

November 06 2013 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Briknstone's comment
cre8iveman

Sending space junk to the sun or outer space is far more expensive and complicated.

November 06 2013 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Killer

What they are saying is.... this is the way they get rid of their crap.

November 06 2013 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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