International Space Station to Deorbit After 2020
July 27, 2011 10:15 AM
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The International Space Station
The ISS will be sent into the ocean after 2020
This year, we we said goodbye to NASA's Space Shuttle fleet as
were placed in retirement after one last flight to the International Space Station. Now, it looks as if we'll be
saying goodbye to the ISS
in about 10 years as well.
According to deputy head of Roskosmos space agency Vitaly Davydov, the ISS, which is situated 220 miles above Earth and joins space agencies from the U.S., Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan, will be sent into the ocean after 2020.
When the ISS launched in 1998, it was originally expected to orbit for 15 years tops, but an agreement has extended it to a little over 20 years.
"After it completes its existence, we will be forced to sink the ISS," said Davydov. "It cannot be left in orbit, it's too complex, too heavy an object, it can leave behind
lots of rubbish
. Right now we've agreed with our partners that the station will be used until approximately 2020."
In 2001, space station Mir was also sent into the Pacific Ocean after its 15-year lifespan. The ISS will have the same fate.
It is unclear whether there will be a
replacement for the ISS
, but Russia announced that it is constructing a new ship that will replace the
, which is part of the series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space programme. The ship will be tested starting after 2015, and unlike the Soyuz capsule, the new ship will be a multi-use vehicle rather than single-use.
Davydov added that Russia will compete with the United States in building the new ship.
"We'll race each other," said Davydov.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/27/2011 11:44:13 PM
I am all for spending cuts across ALL government agencies and departments. But it is simply unbelievable the lack of leadership in space and astronautics in the US these last few years. This is a
of the simultaneous retirement of the Shuttle fleet while killing the Constellation program.
NASA's needed budget increases are paltry compared to the price tag of entitlements, subsidies, foreign aid, and the like.
And private sector space exploration is about as fruitful as discussion on dark matter.
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