From left: astronauts Sergey Ryazansky, Oleg Kotov, Luca Parmitano, Karen Nyberg, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Mike Hopkins pay tribute to Albert Einstein from the International Space Station shortly after ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle Albert Einstein undocked.
The Expedition 37 crew are imitating the photo taken on Einstein’s 72nd birthday in 1951, by United Press International photographer Arthur Sasse.
ATV Albert Einstein left the Station at 08:55 GMT on 28 October and will reenter the atmosphere on 2 November. Albert Einstein will be instructed by ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France to perform delicate manoeuvres over the course of five days to position itself directly below the Station.
Controllers will start the reentry procedure around noon GMT 2 November when it is 120 km below the Station – so astronauts will observe the craft from above as it disintegrates over the Pacific Ocean. This procedure will provide valuable information to calibrate future spacecraft reentries.