TECH
16/02/2015 06:53 GMT | Updated 16/02/2015 06:59 GMT

ESA ATV-5 Leaving ISS Looks Like An 'X-Wing'

There are no X-Wings. But there are space vehicles that actually exist which look like X-Wings.

And occasionally they are filmed leaving the International Space Station, looking more amazing than anything you could conjure up with $100 million worth of CGI.

The video above shows the fifth and final European Automatic Transfer Vehicle departing the ISS on Sunday.

The ATV programme transported 31,500 kg of supplies to the ISS since the launch of the first craft in 2008.

The ATV-5, which lifted off way back in July 2014, was used after its initial supply dump to boost the ISS into higher orbit and avoid space debris. Gradually it was loaded with waste and other materials, before blasting back off into space this weekend for a swift, firey and ultimately fatal descent back down through the atmosphere.

ESA said that a successor was already on the way, now that the ATV has proven ESA's ability to automatically dock with the station.

"The knowledge gained by ESA and European industry from designing, building and operating the complex ATV missions has been instrumental for ESA’s participation in NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will fly astronauts to the Moon and beyond.

ESA’s industrial partners are already building the European Service Module, ATV’s technical successor, a critical module for Orion that will supply power, air and propulsion during the test flight in 2017."