Europe's "Jules Verne" space freighter has destroyed itself in a controlled burn-up over the southern Pacific.
The 13.5-tonne cargo ship had completed a six-month mission to the space station and was packed with the orbiting platform's rubbish.
Two engine firings were required to slow the freighter sufficiently to pull it into the atmosphere.
The European and US space agencies had chase planes in the air to try to capture the fireball on video.
Astronauts on the space station reported seeing the light from the falling freighter.
It's been a fantastic ride
John Ellwood, ATV project manager
"Everything went correctly, nominally, smoothly. This was the last section of the chain," said Simonetta di Pippo, head of human spaceflight at the European Space Agency (Esa).
Most of the vehicle was expected to burn up in the descent; only fragments should have made it down to the ocean water. Computer modelling of the re-entry had put the impact time at 1346 GMT.
Events were overseen from Esa's freighter control centre in Toulouse, France.
John Ellwood, the agency's vehicle project manager, said all the data would need to be assessed before it was known conclusively how the re-entry went; but the early indications were that everything had proceeded as expected.
And summing up the past six months, he told BBC News: "It's been a fantastic ride; everything has worked nominally. Although there are mixed emotions at the end, there is a lot of satisfaction after having had such a fantastic mission."
Jules Verne - also known by the generic name Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) - cost about 1.3bn euros to develop.
Although Esa has produced many complex scientific satellites, none match the scale of the freighter.
JULES VERNE - THE FIRSTS
The ATV is the first completely automated rendezvous and docking ship to go to the ISS
The ATV is the largest and most powerful space tug going to the ISS over its mission life
It provides the largest refuelling and waste elimination capability for the space station
It is the only vehicle on the current timeline able to de-orbit the ISS when it is retired
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