Fantastic footage of Russian space station module falling to Earth

After 20 years of use, the Russian space station docking module Pirs fell to Earth on July 26 in a fantastic fiery show captured on video by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet who had a terrific view from the International Space Station.

"Atmospheric reentry without a heat shield results in a nice fireball," Pesquet wrote on Facebook. "You clearly see smaller pieces of melting metal floating away and adding to the fireworks." 


The long-running docking compartment met its demise to make way for a new Russian science module called Nauka. The delayed module — held up for 13 years due to various technical and budgetary issues — temporarily created havoc Friday (July 30) when a misfire caused Nauka to temporarily yet severely tilt the International Space Station.