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Sunday, November 3, 2013

The End of Albert Einstein (The ATV-4, That Is)...

After undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) on October 28 following a successful mission that started with the freighter arriving at the orbital outpost on June 15, the Albert Einstein Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4) burned up in Earth's atmosphere and was destroyed as expected yesterday. The European Space Agency plans to launch a fifth and final ATV, the Georges LemaĆ®tre, to the ISS sometime next year...before shifting gears and beginning development on the Service Module that will fly with NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle—which is set to soar into space for the very first time next September. ESA's Service Module will see flight when Orion partakes in the Space Launch System's maiden journey towards the Moon in 2017.

As seen from aboard the International Space Station, the Albert Einstein Automated Transfer Vehicle burns up upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere on November 2, 2013.
ESA / NASA

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