The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Johannes Kepler was destroyed, as planned, yesterday after resupplying the International Space Station and collecting its trash. The ATV Johannes Kepler, which carried out a de-orbit burn over an uninhabited zone in the South Pacific, was the second ATV to resupply the space station.
What’s the Big Idea
The Johannes Kepler was the second of five ATVs that ESA is contributing to the ISS. Launched from the European space base in Kourou, French Guiana, they are designed to navigate their way to the ISS and dock with it automatically, providing up to 6.6 tonnes of food, water, oxygen, experiments and other essentials. Once emptied of their cargo, the 10 ton craft becomes useful temporary extra living space for the ISS crew.