SpaceX to Help Deorbit ISS, Musk’s Company to Receive $843 Million

Luc Williams

Safe termination of ISS operational activity

The operation, which is a joint effort between space agencies, aims to ensure the safe termination of ISS operational activities. The exact date will depend on various factors and is subject to change.

The planned spacecraft, called the US Deorbit Vehicle (USDV), will be attached to the ISS before its closure. During deorbit, the USDV will fire its engines to significantly slow down the speed of the station. This will reduce its orbit and ultimately lead to its entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over a designated area over the Pacific Ocean. SpaceX’s design is to ensure a safe and controlled end to the ISS mission, minimizing the risk to people and their property on Earth. Some elements of the station will burn up in the atmosphere, but some debris may fall to Earth.

Changes to deorbit plan due to geopolitical situation

The previous plan was based on a Russian maneuver using rocket engines. However, given the current geopolitical situation, NASA does not want to be dependent on a partner.

The ISS, a research laboratory the size of an American football field, is primarily run by the United States and Russia. For over 23 years, there have always been astronauts on board. Due to aging components, NASA and its foreign partners have set 2030 as the planned end date for the station.

NASA and SpaceX Collaboration

Experts say the deorbiting process is a complex operation that requires careful planning and execution. The collaboration between NASA and SpaceX is a significant step toward ensuring America has an independent space capability.

From New York Andrzej Dobrowolski (PAP)


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