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.
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RE: Nothing new here
7/28/2011 3:05:59 PM
It does seem slightly foolish to dump all that hardware though... You'd think they could at least repurpose all those solar panels rather than send new ones up in a rocket later. Send them to the moon maybe? :)
RE: Nothing new here
7/29/2011 6:14:33 AM
Would be cool if they could send it to the moon. I wonder how hard that could be. I think in terms of energy costs, surely it's cheaper to send it there from where it is than it is to send a new one into orbit.
If I had Bill Gates' wealth, I'd waste it on building a lunar habitat. Then after moving to the moon, I'd write "Apple Sucks" in gigantic letters for Steve.
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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