Russian Mission Control Center: European unmanned resupply spacecraft debris falls over Pacific

Debris of the European ATV-5 Georges Lemaitre unmanned resupply spacecraft fell over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, a source at the Russian Mission Control Center told Interfax-AVN.

Debris of the European ATV-5 Georges Lemaitre unmanned resupply spacecraft fell over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, a source at the Russian Mission Control Center told Interfax-AVN.

"ATV-5 undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday and spent a day on autonomous flight. Its debris fell over unnavigable areas of the Pacific several minutes ago," he said.

The so-called 'spaceship cemetery' is located about 3,000 kilometers east of the New Zealand capital city, Wellington.

ATV-5 was previously docked with the Russian segment of the ISS.

It was originally planned for the spacecraft to stage experiments imitating large-size objects de-orbiting for almost two weeks but the experiments had to end on February 15 instead of February 27 due to technical malfunctions.

ATV-5 docked with the ISS Russian segment in August 2014. The European resupply ship project came to an end but European specialists will use the groundwork they have laid for developing a service module for the U.S. spaceship Orion.

ATV is the only spaceship besides Russia's Progress capable of fueling and orienting the station and lifting the ISS orbit. They can also help the station avoid collisions with space debris.

ATV-1 Jules Verne was launched in 2008. The next resupply ship, Johannes Kepler, was sent on mission in 2011. ATV-3 Eduardo Amalfi flew to the ISS in 2012. The fourth resupply ship, Albert Einstein, performed its mission in 2013.

Each time the European Space Agency (ESA) docked its resupply ships with Russia's node.

The U.S. resupply ship SpaceX Dragon departed from the ISS on February 10, 2015.

Russia's Progress M-26M is due to arrive at the station next week. It will take off from Baikonur on February 17 to deliver more than 2 tonnes of cargo.

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