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Elon Musk has been tasked with destroying the space station in 2030

By T.K. Randall
June 27, 2024 · Comment icon 19 comments
The International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA
NASA has assigned the task of decommissioning the iconic orbital platform to none other than Elon Musk.
It's difficult to believe that it has been 25 years since the first module of the International Space Station was launched.

A shining beacon of hope, technological advancement and international co-operation, the ISS has remained a fixture of humankind's off-world ambitions for almost three decades.

Like all good things, however, the space station will soon come to an end.

NASA has this week selected Elon Musk's company SpaceX to develop a new type of "tug" vehicle costing $843 million that will be used to drag the entire space station back down to terrra firma.
This "de-commissioning" of the station will take place in 2030.

"Selecting a US De-orbit Vehicle for the International Space Station (ISS) will help NASA and its international partners ensure a safe and responsible transition in low Earth orbit at the end of station operations," said Ken Bowersox, NASA's director of space operations.

"This decision also supports NASA's plans for future commercial destinations and allows for the continued use of space near Earth."

By the time the ISS is gone, it is likely that private firms will be in the process of launching their own commercial space stations into Earth's orbit.

NASA and its partners will also be moving to build a new space station in orbit around the Moon as part of efforts to enable manned space exploration of the lunar surface and beyond.

Source: BBC News | Comments (19)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Trelane 15 days ago
So, I guess my application has been denied? oh sure, fine.
Comment icon #11 Posted by iAlrakis 14 days ago
Seems like the smart thing to do after the ongoing Boeing debacle with Starliner.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 14 days ago
What has this got to do with Starliner, which incidentally, apart from a few minor issues, is performing well?
Comment icon #13 Posted by iAlrakis 14 days ago
What I got from reading some articles is that Boeing got way more time and budget to come up with the design.  You talk about minor issues but i've heard about launch delays, leaks, more leaks.  Space X had less budget, less time and less problems.  Hence my conclusion that it's fair for Space X to get the project.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 14 days ago
More budget yes, more time no. SpaceX was already operating the Dragon 1 cargo spacecraft when they and Boeing, were selected for the Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The Dragon 2, which is used for Crew Dragon missions as well as replacing Dragon 1 for cargo missions is an evolution of an existing vehicle, Starliner was designed from new. Yes the Starliner is late, but so was Crew Dragon. The CCP was supposed to be operational launching astronauts by the end of 2017, Boeing still haven't managed it. SpaceX didn't manage it until November 2020. And what about the leaks? Are they a major issue? N... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by iAlrakis 13 days ago
ok.  Don't get your knickers in a twist. I just though SpaceX was the best option for something like this.  Seeing where they started and where they are now I really like what they are doing and think they have the most experience. Without talking about specific projects I just don't like Boeing, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic etc. when i comes to space.  That's just my personal opinion.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 13 days ago
Any logical, rational reason why you don't like them?
Comment icon #17 Posted by iAlrakis 11 days ago
Blue Origin and Virgin Atlantic are both started by people with too much money (just like SpaceX) but they haven't achieved all that much.  They don't seem to have much of a plan either. I'm having problems with Boeing because of all the bad decision they made for their airplanes lately.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 days ago
I get the argument with Blue Origin, although the started before SpaceX, they haven't reached orbit yet... HOWEVER, they did achieve the first reusable rocket booster (before SpaceX). They also reached space with a methalox engine (the BE4... used to power the ULA Vulcan rocket) before SpaceX's Starship managed it. Blue Origin should achieve orbit later this year and are entering at a far higher level than SpaceX did. The current Falcon 9 is the 5th version of that launcher, it is highly successful and is probably the most reliable launch vehicle ever made, BUT... there were four previous vers... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by iAlrakis 11 days ago
Well, it looks like i have to subscribe to some more RSS channels.  This is all new information for me.  Glad I learned something today.

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