The Jules Verne ATV, which was launched earlier this year by ESA to aid in deliveries to the ISS, will burn up today in a controlled fireball re-entry.
At 1000 GMT the 1.3 billion Euro spacecraft will fire its thrusters, sending it into an elliptical orbit and beginning the process of re-entry. Around two hours later it will fire them again and start a much steeper journey into the Pacific Ocean. It will burn up in an impressive streak of flames, which I’m hoping will be captured by folks in the area.
The ATV has been a huge success and could potentially be redesigned for transfer of people and not just cargo. The next ATV is due to fly in 2010.