Space freighter burns up in suicide dive

Oct 03, 2012

A giant supply ship burned up over the South Pacific early Wednesday in a self-destruct operation after a six-month mission to the International Space Station, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

Laden with rubbish from the ISS, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) undocked from the orbital outpost last Friday to begin its final .

"Edoardo Amaldi and its waste burnt up harmlessly in the at 0130 GMT," ESA said in a press release.

Undocking had been delayed by three days because astronauts had sent the craft a wrong identification code.

Named after a 20th-century Italian physicist, the Edoardo Amaldi was the third of five ATVs that Europe is scheduled to supply for the ISS.

The robot craft, each the size of a London double-decker bus, are designed to make one-way trips, hauling up tonnes of food, water, air, equipment and other supplies for the ISS crew.

The ATVs also use on-board engines to boost the ISS, whose altitude drops because it is in low orbit and dragged by lingering atmospheric molecules.

At the end of their trip, filled with garbage and human waste, the craft detach and burn up in a controlled destruction over the least inhabited part of the globe.

The final two ATVs should be launched in April 2013 and April 2014 respectively, ESA said.

Explore further: GPIM spacecraft to validate use of "green" propellant

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Space freighter starts suicide plunge: ESA

Oct 02, 2012

A bus-sized craft that had delivered food to the International Space Station will re-enter Earth's atmosphere overnight for a controlled implosion over the South Pacific, the European Space Agency said Tuesday.

Space freighter undocking set for Friday

Sep 27, 2012

The undocking of a supply craft from the International Space Station (ISS) will take place Friday after a three-day delay, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

European cargo vessel docks with space station

Mar 29, 2012

An unmanned European craft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 2233 GMT, laden with tonnes of fuel, water, oxygen and other supplies, France's CNES space agency said.

European space freighter poised for suicide plunge

Jun 17, 2011

A European freighter will be destroyed by atmospheric burn-up next week after completing its supply mission to mankind's orbital outpost, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday.

Recommended for you

GPIM spacecraft to validate use of "green" propellant

25 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Milestone progress is being made in readying NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) for launch in 2016, a smallsat designed to test the unique attributes of a high-performance, non-toxic, ...

Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy discovers new comet

21 hours ago

It's confirmed! Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera at his roll-off roof ...

Students see world from station crew's point of view

Aug 19, 2014

NASA is helping students examine their home planet from space without ever leaving the ground, giving them a global perspective by going beyond a map attached to a sphere on a pedestal. The Sally Ride Earth ...

Mars deep down

Aug 19, 2014

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

shjefte
not rated yet Oct 03, 2012
What a waste..... One man's trash is another man's treasure. Sesame.