Colin Delany Events, Video October 3, 2008

Friday Fun: Catch a Falling Spaceship

The Europeans sure know how to throw a party — for this one, they arranged a fireworks display at a cost of several hundred million dollars (wait about 30 seconds).

The Jules Verne was the first of a series of robot resupply ships built by the European Space Agency, and it docked with the International Space Station under its own control back in April. Its mission completed, and loaded with trash, the Jules Verne undocked several weeks ago and flew to its demise — an intentional reentry over the South Pacific. This was a relatively big ship, about the size of the Apollo capsule/service module combo that went to the moon, with a consequently impressive burnup (any resemblance to any current economic system is pure coincidence).

What comes up, must come down — and if we want to put more in orbit, what needs to come down is the price. SpaceX, good luck. We’re all counting on you.

cpd

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