HTV's destructive re-entry recorded from space
Japan's HTV cargo craft plunged back to Earth and burned up in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, leaving a brilliant trail of fire visible from astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Designed to dispose of trash by burning up during re-entry, the H-2 Transfer Vehicle left the space station Sept. 4 and fell back to Earth on Sept. 7. The barrel-shaped unmanned cargo freighter launched Aug. 3 and delivered 3.6 tons of supplies to the space station.
The HTV's re-entry was choreographed to be timed while the space station was flying overhead.
The imagery below was recorded by a stationary camera mounted in the Destiny laboratory's Earth-facing window and by an astronaut monitoring the re-entry.
See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.
See a larger image. Credit: NASA