After delivering three tons of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station, NASA said goodbye to the SS Janice Voss supply craft on Friday.
This video of the Cygnus cargo ship being lifted down from the station and released over the Earth is a beautiful memorial.
The ship can be seen racing towards Earth where it quickly burned up over the Pacific Ocean.
"Ground controllers in the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston detached Cygnus from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module and maneuver it into release position. With the assistance of NASA Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman, Expedition 40 Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency then used the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, operated from the station’s cupola robotics workstation, to release Cygnus.
Once the spacecraft was a safe distance from the station, its engines fired twice Sunday, Aug. 17, pushing it into Earth's atmosphere where it burned up over the Pacific Ocean. Station crew members had an opportunity to photograph Cygnus' fiery reentry back to Earth, gathering engineering data that could be applied to the entry path of the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ship in January 2015. "