The International Space Station (ISS) was put into orbit in 1998. Its life cycle was about 20 years, but it has been getting longer, in the absence of building a replacement. A few months ago, NASA set a date for its finaland today we know how it will be carried out the destruction of the ISS.
The scheduled date for the end of the International Space Station, it will be in 2031. The ISS will change its orbit to be “caught” by Earth’s gravity, and it will fall into the sea. And now we know exactly How will the operation be carried out?.
The United States government has allocated a budget of $27.2 billion for NASA in 2024, and $180 million is budgeted for “start construction of a space tugboat“.
But that’s just the beginning. Destroy the International Space Station will cost “about 1 billion dollars“, NASA itself has recognized, according to Space.com.
This is how the International Space Station will be destroyed
A priori, destroy the ISS It seems like a simple operation, but nothing is further from reality. It would suffice to cut off the power for it to fall from orbit, calculating the exact moment for it to fall into the sea.
But we are talking about a spacecraft the size of a football fieldof over 100 meters long by 80 meters wide. It cannot be “dropped” in any way, since a fragment could hit a ship, or hit the ground.
He cemetery of the International Space Station will be the Pole of inaccessibility of the Pacific, also called point nemo. It’s the point of the ocean furthest from any mainlandwithin a radius of 2,688 kilometers. It is also a very deep area, more than 3,000 meters, and has no marine traffic. You can see it here:
It is the safest place on Earth for a ship over 100 meters long to fall. But to make you at the exact point, it is necessary place the ISS in a certain orbit at a certain speed. And that can only be done with a space tug.
This tug will move the station at a certain point in an orbit, so that it falls exactly on the point nemo.
Russia already has a tugboat, and it is the one that was going to be used at first. But the United States wants “redundancy” to exist, in case the Russian tug fails, as its Soyuz ships have continually failed in recent years.
We already know, therefore, how the destruction of the International Space Station: with a space tug that will push her towards him point nemo. It will be an emotional moment, and also tremendously spectacular. It will happen at the end of 2030, or in 2031.