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Still Waters

NASA scientists plan to dismantle the ISS

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Still Waters

NASA scientists are drawing up plans to dismantle the International Space Station and send it hurtling into the South Pacific in the world’s most spectacular demolition job.

The massive modules, fuel tanks and other components would generate a series of fireballs as they burn up in the atmosphere.

The plans were revealed by Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, who helped set them in motion before recently leaving the agency. “The future of the ISS is a big issue for NASA. The funding is there till 2024 but then it must start moving money to human Mars missions,” she said.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/space-station-may-deorbit-in-a-blaze-of-glory-in-the-south-pacific/news-story/11e572b0cf661785577eaf13ecc087e0

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glorybebe

Wow!  That makes me sad to think they are dismantling it.  You would think it would be a great base for missions or a supply depot 

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XenoFish

Why not build onto it and use it as the craft to go to mars?

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RoofGardener

Umm... yeah... and the Pentagon probably revises plans to invade Belgium on an annual basis. That doesn't mean they have any immediate expectation of actually DOING it !

.. unfortunately :D 

Edited by RoofGardener

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geraldnewfie

i was just going to say cant we put in orbit around the moon, might come in handy in future there

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and then

It's simple.... $$$$$$  

eta:I bet the Russians find a way to keep Zarya in place.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarya

Edited by and then
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Derek Willis
16 minutes ago, geraldnewfie said:

i was just going to say cant we put in orbit around the moon, might come in handy in future there

The ISS has a mass of about 450 tons. To send that to the Moon would require about 800 tons of propellant. To launch the propellant into Earth orbit would require about fifteen Space Launch System rockets. So no, the ISS can't easily be sent to the Moon.

Edit: Also, the ISS is not designed to withstand the accelerations involved in sending it to the Moon.

Edited by Derek Willis
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Hammerclaw

Arthur C. Clarke called it the wrong station in the wrong place at the wrong time. I understand his frustration of having been robbed of the grandiose future he envision by short-sighted politicians.

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy

We allready have a thread about the feasibility of using the ISS for a mission to Mars.

I like to think I explained why it isn't as easy as it sounds to reuse the ISS.

Edited by Noteverythingisaconspiracy
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Emma_Acid
17 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Why not build onto it and use it as the craft to go to mars?

I'm sure they did a cost analysis on this...

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XenoFish
56 minutes ago, Emma_Acid said:

I'm sure they did a cost analysis on this...

Tis a thought.

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Waspie_Dwarf
2 hours ago, Emma_Acid said:

I'm sure they did a cost analysis on this...

I'm sure they didn't. They would not even have seriously considered the idea.

Sending humans to Mars will be an extremely dangerous project any way. Doing it in a second-hand craft which, by 2024, will be  between 13years old and  26 years old and which was not designed to travel beyond Earth orbit would be a sure fire way to fail in the mission and probably kill a few brave astronauts in the process.

You would no more cost analyse this idea than you would cost analyse trying to win the Formula 1 world championship by modifying an old pick-up truck.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.
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Merc14

The ISS was designed for a 30 year mission length in mind and by 2028 it will have reached that number.  Keeeping it flying until 2028 is a challenge but anything beyond hat would be cost prohibitive and maybe not even possible to repair.  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasa-looks-to-post-2020-international-space-station-operations/

from the article:

"We have a space station that is designed in a modular fashion meant for repair," Suffredini told CBS News. "So as long as you have spares for all the things that can break, you can last as long as the structure will let you last. Within reason.

"The structure, it turns out, most of it was originally designed for 30 years. So all that margin has made it relatively easy for us to get to 2020. 2028 will be a little bit more challenging. ... We may have to sharpen our pencils to get to 2028."

Boeing, NASA's space station prime contractor, is currently conducting a detailed engineering analysis to verify that the U.S. segment of the complex can safely operate through the end of the decade. Russian engineers are assessing their own hardware, as are the other international partners.

The Boeing analysis is not yet complete and additional work will be needed to to show the lab can be safely operated beyond 2020. But Suffredini said no major surprises have cropped up so far and he's optimistic the station eventually can be cleared to fly through 2028 -- in theory, at least.

"When we get to 2028, the solar arrays are going to be struggling, I'm probably going to have a handful of radiator lines that have been isolated," he said. "2028 might be possible, but it also might be very challenging because then you're talking about the cost of replacing big things that may be prohibitive.

"All our analysis kind of says we think we can get to 2028 and that's the path we're headed on. As we start getting beyond 2028, if it makes sense, and things aren't failing at a rate that makes it difficult for us to keep up, and the country thinks it's the right thing to do, then we can look at going beyond that.

"But 2028's kind of where we're drawing our line today based on the original design of the structure."

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Derek Willis
6 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

I'm sure they didn't.

I'm sure Emma was being ironic ...

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FLOMBIE

What if NASA wants to scrap it, but the other space agencies want to keep it running?

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Merc14
3 minutes ago, FLOMBIE said:

What if NASA wants to scrap it, but the other space agencies want to keep it running?

They'd have to come up with the serious dollars to refurbish it as per the article above

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FLOMBIE
Just now, Merc14 said:

They'd have to come up with the serious dollars to refurbish it as per the article above

The article makes it seem like NASA has full control over the project. I always thought it's a joint venture? 

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Waspie_Dwarf
10 minutes ago, FLOMBIE said:

The article makes it seem like NASA has full control over the project. I always thought it's a joint venture? 

It's a NASA project with international cooperation. The Russians own part of the station, NASA owns the rest. Europe, Canada and Japan all effectively pay NASA (using a barter system) to use NASA's part of the station. Therefore only Russia could effectively prolong the use of PART of the station if NASA decided to scrap it. Even then it would be expensive for Russia. The two parts of the station are completely dependent on each other. The US section supplies the Russian section with electrical power, The Russia section contains the thrusters that maintain the stations altitude.

Russia has suggested in the past that, at the end of the ISS' life. they might use some of their modules as the core of a new station, but it would require a lot of new modules and a lot of money to do so and that was before the ISS life was extended to 2024.

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FLOMBIE

Thank you for that. :)

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Merc14
24 minutes ago, FLOMBIE said:

The article makes it seem like NASA has full control over the project. I always thought it's a joint venture? 

To add to what waspie posted, NASA is also looking at a possible new station near the Moon or even around Mars to aid deep space exploration.

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Emma_Acid
1 hour ago, Derek Willis said:

I'm sure Emma was being ironic ...

I wasn't, I was being over-simplistic. What I meant was, I'm sure the plan has been completely thought out, and 5 years down the line someone won't say "hey, did anyone think to reuse the ISS???"

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Derek Willis
2 hours ago, Emma_Acid said:

I wasn't, I was being over-simplistic. What I meant was, I'm sure the plan has been completely thought out, and 5 years down the line someone won't say "hey, did anyone think to reuse the ISS???"

Sorry, I thought you were. In another thread Noteverythingisaconspiracy provided some maths and technical info to explain why the ISS couldn't be sent to Mars, and the same data holds true for the Moon.

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taniwha

Why crash it into the South Pacific?  Is there not enough room in the Atlantic?

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LV-426
On 08/05/2017 at 0:14 PM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

You would no more cost analyse this idea than you would cost analyse trying to win the Formula 1 world championship by modifying an old pick-up truck.

Hmm... given the way F1 has gone in the last couple of years, with the horrible turbo hybrid engines being used as some kind of test bed for road car technology, I wouldn't rule it out! :huh:

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Waspie_Dwarf
4 hours ago, taniwha said:

Why crash it into the South Pacific?  Is there not enough room in the Atlantic?

Actually,no there isn't.

The Russians (and Soviets before them) have been ditching old spacecraft and space stations (Progress, Salyut, Mir, etc) into this part of the Pacific for decades. It is extremely remote, very far from human habitation and a long way from shipping lanes. It is simply the safest place to carry out this kind of disposal.

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