Catch ATV-4 aka ‘Albert Einstein’ before it crashes in the ocean


Albert Einstein undocks from the space station on Oct. 28

Very happy to report that Heavens-Above has posted viewing times for the European space cargo ship ATV-4 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 4), christened Einstein after the great 20th century scientist. The vehicle delivered supplies to the International Space Station last June and departed on Oct. 28 carrying a load of trash. The whole works will burn up over an uninhabited part of the Pacific Ocean on Nov. 2, leaving us only 3 nights at most to spot it.

While no passes are visible for my home town of Duluth, Minn., you might see if from where you live. Click over to Heavens-Above, log in and select your city to catch the ship before its demise. While Nov. 2 is the planned de-orbit date, it might take longer, so keep an eye. I’ll post an update once ‘Einstein’ is no more.

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

6 thoughts on “Catch ATV-4 aka ‘Albert Einstein’ before it crashes in the ocean

  1. I looked at our 30 day forecast. I know that things can change. But I do not like what I saw, cloudy from the 23rd through the 30th.

  2. wanted to mention that if u set ur user level to “astronomer” on the calsky website, it will give u (difficult to view) passes of satellites that places like heavensabove and the NASA ISS sightings pages won’t give u. Useless when it comes to ATV-4 (RIP) but often quite useful, and it gives more detailed info for the passes that are shown on other sites. for example on thursday it indicated a low ATV-4 pass which heavensabove did not mention. FYI, readers.

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