After a longer than usual stay lasting over half a year, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) cargo ship ATV-05 (Georges Lemaitre) undocked from the International Space Station’s Zvezda module at 1342 GMT on 14 February 2015. The ATV-5 craft carried some 2.5 metric tons of refuse at departure. The craft was subsequently de-orbited using two engine burns over the Pacific on 15 February 2015 and it burned during the re-entry with debris impacting the sea at circa 1812 GMT.
Comment by David Todd: ESA’s ATV programme was both successful but also extremely expensive with each ATV flight costing over €1 billion when all development, fixed and variable launch costs are considered. This was the reason that the programme was ended a little earlier than originally planned. However, the ATV’s excellent technology will live on as it effectively forms the service module of the Orion manned space exploration craft.