ATV Bids Its Final Farewell to the ISS

The fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle, Georges Lemaitre, has departed the International Space Station, an event requiring coordination between controllers in Moscow (Zvezda control), Houston (ISS attitude control), and Toulouse (ATV control).  A planned deorbit test involving a shallow reentry has been cancelled due to a power failure on board the ISS, affecting an instrument that was going to observe the event, but a device on board Georges Lemaitre will still monitor conditions inside the large ATV during reentry to understand how such large vehicles experience reentry.  The device has a heatshield that will enable it to survive long enough to transmit its data, even though the ATV itself will be destroyed.


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