Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeNews ReportsNASA selects Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop U.S. Deorbit Vehicle to pull down the...

NASA selects Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop U.S. Deorbit Vehicle to pull down the International Space Station after the end of its operational life in 2030

Along with the space station, the U.S. Deorbit Vehicle built by SpaceX is expected to destructively breakup as part of the re-entry process, NASA said

NASA has selected SpaceX to develop a vehicle that will bring down the International Space Station when its life term ends by 2030. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced on Thursday that SpaceX has been selected to develop and deliver the U.S. Deorbit Vehicle that will provide the capability to deorbit the space station and ensure avoidance of risk to populated areas.

“Selecting a U.S. Deorbit Vehicle for the International Space Station will help NASA and its international partners ensure a safe and responsible transition in low Earth orbit at the end of station operations. This decision also supports NASA’s plans for future commercial destinations and allows for the continued use of space near Earth,” said Ken Bowersox, associate administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Bowersox added, “The orbital laboratory remains a blueprint for science, exploration, and partnerships in space for the benefit of all.”

NASA said that while Elon Musk’s SpaceX will develop the deorbit spacecraft, NASA will take its ownership after development and operate it throughout its mission. Along with the space station, it is expected to destructively breakup as part of the re-entry process, NASA added.

The contract to develop the Deorbit Vehicle is worth $843 million. This includes only the cost of the development of the vehicle, not any cost for the launch. NASA added that the vehicle will ensure a safe and responsible deorbit of the International Space Station in a controlled manner after the end of its operational life in 2030.

The International Space Station, launched in 1998, is managed by five space agencies, NASA, CSA (Canadian Space Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and State Space Corporation Roscosmos of Russia. Separate modules of the space station were launched separately and assembled in space.

The United States, Japan, Canada, and the participating countries of ESA have committed to operating the station through 2030, while Russia has committed to continued station operations through at least 2028. Earlier expeditions to ISS was done using Russian Soyuz spacecraft and American space shuttle. However, after the end of the space shuttle program, Soyuz was the sole vehicle to reach the space station. But in recent times, SpaceX has started operating manned and unmanned flights to the ISS.

As the life term of ISS is ending by 2030, the countries managing it, led by USA, have prepared for its safe deorbit. NASA first asked US aerospace companies in March 2023 for proposals to develop a “space tug” vehicle that can deorbit the International Space Station. The agency repeated the request in September 2023, asking for more ideas for development of the unique vehicle, which will pull down the ISS, steer it to lower earth orbit to reach a safe place on earth, and will eventually destruct with the ISS.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -