NASA pays $1 billion to destroy the International Space Station

the International Space Station It is literally a sinking ship. Besides being a symbol of humanity’s scientific prowess and ability to cooperate, the International Space Station is also a 450-ton station. Space ship This is subject to gravitational forces in low Earth orbit. the International Space Station It has lasted beyond its expected lifespan, requiring periodic boosters to stay in orbit. NASA The company plans to retire it by the next decade, but it could cost nearly $1 billion to do so, as… American Scientific Reports.

Destruction of the International Space Station is scheduled to be completed by 2031, and the agency has some options for doing so. All require the ISS to return to Earth in a fiery blaze, but the most feasible option is to rely on three Russian Advances cargo vehicles that would help the International Space Station make a “deliberate and destructive landing”.

But relations between the United States and Russia were strained by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now, NASA is considering building its own vehicle, but building such a vehicle could be expensive. The ideal situation using a single NASA vehicle was determined by American Scientific As follows:

All of these factors combine to make the ideal process go like this: After weeks or months of natural orbital decay that would slowly lower the ISS’s altitude, about 250 miles above Earth, a specially designed vehicle attached to the space station would begin its journey. Burning orbit. The station could then descend to about halfway to the planet’s surface before encountering destabilizing impacts. At an altitude of about 125 miles, mission controllers will adjust the ISS’s trajectory, adjusting the rocket’s afterburner to reshape the station’s roughly circular orbit into an elliptical shape, with Earth’s closest point, or perigee, perhaps 90 miles above the planet. This would help reduce the amount of time the station would spend in lower, denser levels of the atmosphere during the remainder of its descent. From the 90-mile perigee, the control center will command the rocket to fire one final time, propelling the station farther to fall over the South Pacific.

The other way to shoot down the ISS is via an “out-of-control orbit,” which poses a significant risk when the ISS disintegrates and sheds parts as it descends through the atmosphere. The International Space Station is larger than a football field, making it the largest object ever to deorbit. The ISS’s orbital path carries more than 90% of the planet’s population, so an uncontrolled landing is a risky proposition that could result in serious injury or even death.

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picture: NASA

NASA could push the ISS into a higher orbit, which could happen American Scientific This is referred to as a “graveyard orbit” as it will no longer present a danger, but doing so will also be expensive. Due to its age and large size, the station would likely disintegrate anyway, leaving behind a huge amount of debris.

Even if the Russian space agency Roscosmos agreed to help provide the vehicles needed for a controlled landing, recent events have cast a shadow over Russia’s ability to provide reliable vehicles for such an important mission. Russia has recently witnessed a number of failures that have called into question its enormous spaceflight capabilities. NASA will look Commercial proposals Within the next few months, a dedicated deorbit vehicle capable of handling the mass of the International Space Station will be developed, but such a vehicle has never been needed. There are a few options, but astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell says they won’t be cheap, according to Sa:

But if NASA wants a single vehicle with a design based on the world’s existing space fleet, it doesn’t have many options, McDowell adds. “The things that seem obvious when you first start thinking about it is that it doesn’t have the capacity to do that big final burn in a short time,” McDowell says. The closest existing technology is believed to be the European Service Module for the Artemis program, which powered NASA’s unmanned Orion capsule on a historic circumnavigation of the moon last fall and is scheduled to help land humans on the lunar surface later this decade. Everything else is either too weak, too powerful, or simply unable to carry enough fuel for the mission, he says, hence NASA has requested commercial bids for a new vehicle specifically designed for deorbit.

The International Space Station has been transformed 25 This year, it means she has exceeded her target age of 15 by a decade; The first modules of the station reached orbit at the end of 1998. One way or another, the ISS will have to crash and burn back to Earth, and its deorbital path will have to be carried out with the help of Russia or without the help of the United States, and it may end up being that way. It costs $1 billion to shoot down the largest object humanity has ever put into orbit.

An image of an article entitled NASA may spend a billion dollars to destroy the International Space Station

picture: NASA

An image of an article entitled NASA may spend a billion dollars to destroy the International Space Station

picture: NASA

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