DOOMED SPACECRAFT: Jules Verne is about to become a fireball. On Sept. 29th, with NASA aircraft looking on, the 22-ton European spacecraft will plunge into Earth’s atmosphere over the south Pacific Ocean and harmlessly disintegrate. Jules Verne recently spent five months docked to the space station where it delivered supplies, used its engines help the station avoid a piece of space junk, and served as an impromptu bedroom for the ISS crew.
accomplished, the doomed spacecraft is now making its final orbits around Earth glowing about as brightly as Polaris (the North Star). Mission and European observers are favored with flybys this weekend. U.S.
Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for viewing times.
[Via Chronicles of the Dawn Patrol.]
Update 9/29/2008: The Jules Verne’s fatal re-entry yielded some gorgeous photographs.