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SpaceX bags $843 million NASA contract to de-orbit ISS in 2030

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Shillong, June 27: Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a $843 million NASA contract to prepare for the safe and responsible deorbit of the International Space Station (ISS) in a controlled manner after the end of its operational life in 2030.

 

As part of the contract, SpaceX will develop and deliver the US Deorbit Vehicle that will provide the capability to deorbit the space station and ensure avoidance of risk to populated areas.

 

“Selecting a US 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,” said Ken Bowersox, associate administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

 

While SpaceX will make the deorbit spacecraft, NASA will operate it throughout its mission. In addition to the space station, it is expected to destructively break up as part of the re-entry process.

 

The ISS has seen astronauts from CSA (Canadian Space Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and State Space Corporation Roscosmos, since 1998.

 

Each agency was responsible for managing and controlling the hardware it provided.

 

While the US, Japan, Canada, and the participating countries of ESA have committed to operating the station through 2030, Russia has committed to continued station operations through at least 2028.

 

The ISS is currently in its 24th year of continuous crewed operations, and more than 3,300 experiments have, to date, been conducted in microgravity. (IANS)

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