How To Dispose of a Space Station

The International Space Station. Credit: NASA

With the life of the International Space Station extended to at least 2020, we don’t have to think about its demise for awhile. But actually, NASA and the international partners do have to think about and plan ahead for how this huge 400-ton structure in space will one day be deorbited and disposed of. Friend and venerable space writer Leonard David has written an article about how NASA is starting to consider how they will organize and execute “dumping the huge facility into select, but remote, ocean waters in one fell swoop.” It ain’t gonna be easy, and that’s why thorough planning is a must. It might take a combination of vehicles (ESA’s ATV, Russian Progess) to send the ISS on a very safe and precise swan dive. Or, another possibility is that some of the modules could be re-used elsewhere.

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(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | 9 comments | Add to Post

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