NASA Podcasts

Behind the Scenes of the ATV reentry
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NASA Ames videographer, Jesse Carpenter, steadies the custom-designed camera rig on a off-set plate, featuring a pivot point near the front of the camera’s long zoom, image-stabilized lens. Bill Moede, also a NASA Ames videographer, assists by checking the aperture and focus settings of the camera during the final rehearsal 24 hours before mission night. Photo credit: NASA Ames Research Center / Eric James
In the early morning hours of September 29, 2008 the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), named "Jules Verne." Completed its six month logistics mission to the International Space Station and re-entered Earth's atmosphere.

To observe the fiery re-entry, a team of scientists took off from Tahiti, French Polynesia, onboard two aircraft: NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory and a Gulfstream V jet. Both aircraft flew southwest to the re-entry site above the Pacific Ocean.

The aircraft were loaded with a variety of cameras and sensors capable of imaging the event in the visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths of light, as well as gathering spectroscopic data.

The following video is a behind-the-scenes look at the last-minute preparations and a few results of the team's observations.

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