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

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

Elon Musk's SpaceX has been awarded a substantial $843 million contract by NASA to develop and deliver a US Deorbit Vehicle. This vehicle's primary mission will be to ensure the safe and controlled deorbit of the International Space Station (ISS) by 2030, once its operational life concludes. The goal is to manage the re-entry process in a way that minimizes any risk to populated areas on Earth.

NASA's Ken Bowersox, Associate Administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate, emphasized the significance of selecting a US Deorbit Vehicle to facilitate a secure and responsible transition in low Earth orbit following the ISS's operational phase.

While SpaceX will lead the development of the deorbit spacecraft, NASA will handle its operational management throughout its mission lifecycle. This collaborative effort underscores the international cooperation that has sustained the ISS, which has hosted astronauts from NASA, ESA, JAXA, CSA, and Roscosmos since its establishment in 1998. Each participating space agency has managed and controlled the hardware it contributed to the station.

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The ISS, currently marking its 24th year of continuous crewed operations, has served as a platform for over 3,300 experiments conducted in microgravity. While the US, Japan, Canada, and ESA member states have committed to operating the station until 2030, Russia has pledged continued involvement at least until 2028.

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