ESA - ATV-5 Georges Lemaître Mission patch.
15 Feb. 2015
European Cargo Ship Departs The Space Station For The Final Time
ATV Georges Lemaître has been sent towards Earth for its controlled reentry after completing its second and last deorbit burn.
Illustration above: The Automated Transfer Vehicle burns up during a guided and controlled reentry.
The 23.3-minute burn reduced the spacecraft's speed by 322.56 km/h and set it heading for its fiery end.
Imagine sending the command to destroy the spacecraft that you have worked on and with for many years. Emotional moments for the teams at the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France.
ATV Control Centre just before deorbit boost
The final command will be sent to the spacecraft at 18:06 GMT setting Georges Lemaître to tumble and rotate to improve its drag.
ATV-CC voice loop: thanks to Houston & Moscow
Audio recording of the post-undocking voice loop conversation between ATV-CC Toulouse and the flight directors at Houston and Moscow. ATV-CC sends thanks and signs off after an extremely successful ATV programme: https://soundcloud.com/atvcc-toulouse/les-flight-directors-de-houston-moscou-et-toulouse-se-felicitent-apres-desamarrage-de-latv5
Final deorbit boost complete
ATV Control Centre main screen showing ATV altitude top right
Mission director Mike Steinkopf confirms ATV-5's first deorbit burn: "DEO1 successful with nominal performance of DV and duration DV 51.76 m/s nominal duration of 826.5 s".
ATV-5 fired its thrusters for almost 14 minutes to reduce its speed by 186 km/h. It is now flying around 240 km above Earth or about 150 km less than before the deorbit burn. This is the beginning of the end for Georges Lemaître: its second deorbit burn planned for 17:26 GMT will set it on its final course to a fiery reentry.
ATV-5’s Big Dive
Video above: Animation of what's happening this evening, as ATV-5 reenters, thanks to CNES.
ESA ATV blog: http://blogs.esa.int/atv/
For more information about Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), visit: http://www.cnes.fr/web/CNES-fr/10763-atv-automated-transfer-vehicle.php and http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/ATV
Images, Videos, Text, Credits: ESA / D. Ducros / NASA TV / CNES.