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The end for ATV Johannes Kepler

Illustration of ATV-2 reentry
Illustration of ATV-2 reentry

Europe's unmanned ATV space freighter plunged on command into Earth's atmosphere today to end its mission as a spectacular shooting star over the southern Pacific Ocean. Contact with the spacecraft was lost at 20:41:39 GMT (22:41:39 CEST) at an altitude of 80 km.

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Europe's ATV space freighter burns up

Europe's space freighter has destroyed itself over the South Pacific.
The ATV-Johannes Kepler ship took 1.3 tonnes of rubbish from the space station into a controlled dive into the atmosphere just before 2100 GMT on Tuesday.

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ATV: Tonight's Big Dive

The deorbit will be accomplished by two engine burns. The first occurs at 17:06 UT (19:06 CEST) and lasts 609 seconds, while the second comes at 20:04 UT (22:04 CEST) and is planned for 849 seconds.
The final predicted impact area is an uninhabited area of the South Pacific Ocean, ca. 40S latitude and 145W longitude, i.e. about 2500 km East of New Zealand, 6000 km West of Chile and 2500 km South of French Polynesia.

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ATV2.gif

ATV2
1 37368U 11007A   11170.47790715  .00033049  00000-0  37375-3 0  1445
2 37368 051.6470 149.1791 0011217 264.1670 245.2722 15.62059974 19318

Period: 92.19 minutes
Inclination: 51.64
Apogee: 389 km
Perigee: 374 km
Predicted Location: -



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Johannes Kepler has left the Station

Europe's Johannes Kepler ATV cargo ferry undocked from the International Space Station today at 14:46:30 GMT (16:46:30 CEST). The craft is now leaving the orbital outpost far behind and will end its mission on Tuesday evening as a shooting star over the Pacific Ocean.
After spending almost four months as an important part of the International Space Station, ESA's second Automated Transfer Vehicle is ending its days as a rubbish truck - another critical role because the 1200 kg of waste bags and discarded equipment cannot just be thrown out of the Station.

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ESA's ATV-2 undocks from the International Space Station



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LIVE Webcast: ATV undocking

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Kepler is due to undock at 1448 GMT on Monday. What remains of the robotic ship and its waste cargo after its destructive descent is expected to hit the water about 2050 GMT on Tuesday.
The European Space Agency (Esa) has been delighted by Kepler's performance since its launch from Earth in February.

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ATV-2 undocking from the ISS at 14:51 GMT, 20th June, 2011.



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Late on Tuesday (GMT), a huge fireball will streak across the skies over the Pacific Ocean.
Not many will get to see it; it will be over an uninhabited part of the world, and ships and planes have been warned to steer clear of the area.
The event is the return from orbit of Europe's space freighter, ATV-Johannes Kepler.

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