The Russian Pirs module turns into a ‘shooting star’ as it disintegrates in Earth’s atmosphere

Moment that Russia’s Pirs module turns into a stunning ‘shooting star’ when it disintegrates in Earth’s atmosphere after being ejected from the ISS

  • Astronaut Thomas Pesquet has captured images of the Russian Pirs module disintegrating in Earth’s atmosphere after it was ejected from the ISS on June 26
  • The module left the ISS around 10 a.m. EST and headed toward Earth
  • It lit up like a shooting star as it began to break up in the atmosphere
  • Then, after about six minutes, the module had disappeared into the clouds of the earth
  • Pirs was discarded to make way for the new Nauka module
  • Nauka made the ISS do a backflip when the thrusters failed on Thursday










Astronaut Thomas Pesquet watched from the International Space Station as the Russian Pirs module was discarded on June 26 and sped into Earth’s atmosphere to its death.

The stunning video shows Pirs disintegrating into a ‘shooting star’ and slowly disappearing into a sea of ​​ominous clouds hovering over our planet.

“Atmospheric return without a heat shield results in a nice fireball,” Pesquet wrote in a statement facebook post, which also contained a French description.

“You can clearly see smaller pieces of melting metal floating away and contributing to the fireworks.”

Although the video was sped up, Pesquet and a few other crew members saw Pirs break above the clouds for six minutes.

‘Next time you see a shooting star, it might be our ISS debris burning… I’m not sure if it’s allowed in that case, but you never know, I’d still advise to go ahead and make a wish, Pesquet joked in the post.

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Astronaut Thomas Pesquet watched from the International Space Station as the Russian Pirs module was discarded and raced to its death in Earth’s atmosphere

The 16-meter-long and 8-meter-diameter Pirs began its descent into the Earth’s atmosphere at 10 a.m. EST after 20 years of service on the ISS, space.com reported.

The module provided the ISS with a docking port for spacecraft, along with an airlock for astronauts to conduct spacewalks.

The module’s removal was to make way for Russia’s 22-ton Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or Nauka for short, which was docked to the ISS on June 29.

Nauka, meaning “science” in Russian,” was launched on July 21 atop a Russian Proton rocket. This rocket also carried the new European Robotic Arm, or ERA, a 16-meter-long two-handed robot that can move freely outside the ISS.

Pirs's journey back to Earth began around 10:00 a.m. ET, which saw him return from the ISS with his engines and then unleash toward our planet.

Pirs’s journey back to Earth began around 10:00 a.m. ET, which saw him return from the ISS with his engines and then unleash toward our planet.

The European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut shot the stunning video on June 26, in which Pirs disintegrates into a 'shooting star' and slowly disappears into a sea of ​​ominous clouds hovering over our planet.

The European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut shot the stunning video on June 26, in which Pirs disintegrates into a ‘shooting star’ and slowly disappears into a sea of ​​ominous clouds hovering over our planet.

After eight days in free flight, the unmanned 43-meter-long module connected to the port of the Earth-facing Russian segment of the ISS.

Nauka will be a new science facility, port of call and airlock for spacewalks for future operations, along with additional crew quarters, galley and toilet.

However, the new module experienced a software glitch about three hours after docking, causing the thrusters to inadvertently fire about three hours after making contact with the massive ship.

NASA released new details today, saying the ISS backflips and was left upside down when Nauka’s jet engines failed.

Although the video was sped up, Pesquet and a few other crew members saw Pirs break above the clouds for six minutes

Although the video was sped up, Pesquet and a few other crew members saw Pirs break above the clouds for six minutes

The module's removal was intended to make way for Russia's 22-ton Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or Nauka for short, which was docked to the ISS on June 29.

The module’s removal was intended to make way for Russia’s 22-ton Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or Nauka for short, which was docked to the ISS on June 29.

The US space agency had previously said the ISS had moved 45 degrees out of position — its orientation relative to its direction of travel — or one-eighth of a full circle.

However, the flight director in charge at the time has since revealed that this was “slightly misreported” and that the actual figure was closer to 540 degrees.

This means that the ISS performed 1.5 backflips as it spun around and needed a 180-degree forward somersault to regain its original position.

The position of the station is crucial to get power from the solar panels.

If this were lost, the ISS would “decay,” meaning it would get closer and closer to Earth before crashing.

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