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NASA gives SpaceX the privilege to plunge the International Space Station into the ocean

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation Basically letting the International Space Station (ISS) fall into the ocean. It’s part of NASA’s plan to safely deorbit the International Space Station over the next decade.

The International Space Station has Continuously operating since 1998 And, like everything, it keeps aging. The space station will end its orbital life around 2030. breaking Bad. The agency hopes for a smooth and controlled reentry. This is where SpaceX comes into play.

Under the terms of the contract, SpaceX will develop a spacecraft called the American Deorbiter to safely bring the International Space Station back to Earth without causing any undue risk to population centers. SpaceX’s rocket will guide it into the Pacific Ocean, where it can disturb a school of fish instead of humans.

The International Space Station isn’t just heading to any part of the Pacific Ocean. It’s headed to the eerie “Spaceship Graveyard,” an uninhabited area between New Zealand and South America littered with the remains of space objects. A total of nearly 300 spacecraft are parked in this sea area, including space capsules, cargo ships, rockets, etc. Many of these ships are actually used to get to the International Space Station, so this will be a homecoming of sorts.

For SpaceX, this project is not easy. Weighing nearly a million pounds, the International Space Station is too large to burn up upon reentry. The company’s deorbiting vehicle is expected to take several years to develop and test. The International Space Station will undergo a staged disintegration, meaning the process should unfold in three phases. The rocket will first guide the solar arrays and radiators to the sea, then the individual modules and finally the main structure, often called a truss.

Ken Powersocks, associate administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, said: “Selecting a U.S. deorbit vehicle for the International Space Station will help NASA and its international partners ensure that the space station will remain operational until the end of the mission. safe and responsible transition in low-Earth orbit.

The International Space Station is the largest structure ever built in space and is a collaborative effort between the United States, Europe, Japan, Canada and Russia. The United States and its partners have pledged to maintain operations until the end, but Russia’s commitment ends in 2028. It is hoped that the private space industry will fill the gap here and build orbital stations that astronauts can use on a pay-per-view basis.

To this end, many private organizations have previewed their own space stations. Vast and SpaceX Blue Origin has a Preparing for launch in the second half of this century. Voyager, Lockheed Martin and Nanoracks are not expected to At least until 2027.

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