November 2, 2013
ESA’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ferry, Albert Einstein, completed its five-month mission to the International Space Station by reentering the atmosphere today and burning up safely over an uninhabited area of the southern Pacific Ocean.
Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) are the most complex space vehicles ever developed in Europe and are the largest and most capable resupply ships to dock with the Space Station.
At 20 tonnes, ATV-4 set the record for the heaviest Ariane 5 launch when its mission started from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 5 June, docking with the Station 10 days later. The record cargo of 2480 kg included more than 1400 individual items.
Albert Einstein delivered important cargo to keep the Station operating and to allow the six astronauts on the orbital outpost to perform out-of-this-world experiments.