Dismantling the ISS would cost 1 billion dollars

Isbel Lázaro.

Desmantelamiento de la ISS

Inspenet, December 1, 2023.

The International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to be decommissioned soon.

In January 2022, NASA officially announced its plans for the decommissioning of the ISS , presenting a detailed transition plan. Although the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to extending the Station’s operations until 2030, the space agency reported, recent reports from Scientific American suggest that this initiative could require significant funding of around $1 billion to avoid relying exclusively on vehicles. Russians.

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The closure of ISS operations responds to various factors, including the aging of its infrastructure after almost three decades of service. The challenges associated with the wear of its parts in the harsh conditions of space pose maintenance and sustainability problems. Additionally, financial considerations also play a key role.

Despite efforts to prolong ISS operations to continue benefiting scientifically, educationally and technologically, the increasing operational cost associated with maintaining the station has led to the difficult decision to dismantle it.

Scientific American highlights proposed methods to bring down the station, including the option of elevating it to an orbit outside of Earth’s atmosphere. However, abandoning it in a “graveyard orbit” poses potential risks and could damage other satellites.

NASA officials suggest the safest option would be to place the station in sparsely populated regions of the southern Pacific Ocean to minimize potential damage. Although this task is presented as complicated due to the rapid trajectory in orbit of the ISS, which travels more than 250 linear miles of the Earth’s surface every minute, with a route in constant change due to the rotation of the planet.

For her part, Mai’a Cross, a political scientist at Northeastern University, highlights the importance of the ISS as a symbol of international and civil cooperation, calling it “the largest project ever undertaken in the history of humanity.” The closure scheduled for the beginning of the next decade is seen as a delicate challenge for both aerospace engineering and international diplomacy.

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Source: World energy trade

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