The Debate Surrounding the Deorbiting of the International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project between multiple countries and has been orbiting the Earth since 1998. It has been used for scientific research and has served as a symbol of international cooperation in space exploration. However, as the station ages, there is a growing debate about what should be done with it. Some argue that it should be deorbited, while others believe it should be maintained or repurposed.
The Missed Opportunity in Deorbiting the ISS:
One argument for deorbiting the ISS is that it has served its purpose and is becoming too expensive to maintain. According to a report by Space News, the cost of maintaining the ISS is expected to exceed $4 billion per year by 2024. This cost is largely due to the age of the station and the need for regular repairs and upgrades. By deorbiting the ISS, it would free up resources and funding for future space exploration missions.Also Read:
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However, many in the space industry see this as a missed opportunity. The ISS has been in orbit for over two decades and has served as a platform for scientific research and international cooperation. Deorbiting the station would mean losing an important asset that could continue to contribute to scientific discoveries and advancements.
Repurposing the ISS:
Another option that has been proposed is to repurpose the ISS. One idea is to turn the station into a commercial space lab, where private companies could conduct research and experiments. This could generate revenue for the station and reduce the financial burden on the participating countries.
Additionally, the ISS could be used as a platform for future space exploration missions. NASA has proposed using the station as a waypoint for deep space missions to the moon or Mars. This would allow astronauts to stop at the ISS to refuel and rest before continuing on their journey.
The Controversy Over Destroying the ISS:
A recent article on Gearrice.com discusses NASAâs $180 million plan to destroy the ISS. According to the article, NASA is planning to intentionally deorbit the station by 2030. This has sparked controversy, as many argue that destroying the ISS is a waste of resources and would be a blow to international cooperation in space exploration.
Furthermore, there are concerns about the environmental impact of deorbiting the station. The ISS is a large object and could potentially cause damage if it were to crash into a populated area. There are also concerns about the amount of debris that would be created during the deorbiting process.
The fate of the ISS remains uncertain, but there are several options on the table. While deorbiting the station may seem like the easiest solution, it would also mean losing an important asset that has contributed to scientific research and international cooperation. Repurposing the station or using it as a platform for future space exploration missions could be a more viable option. Ultimately, the decision will require collaboration between the participating countries and careful consideration of the financial, environmental, and scientific implications.Read More:
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