NASA picks SpaceX for its plan to crash the International Space Station into the ocean

  • The ISS is almost at the end of its tenure
  • NASA awarded a contract to SpaceX to bring it down
  • SpaceX will develop a spacecraft to safely deorbit the ISS so it can crash into the ocean

Published on Jun 29, 2024 at 12:45 PM (UTC+4)
by Siddharth Dudeja

Last updated on Jun 29, 2024 at 12:45 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Nalin Rawat

NASA just chose Elon Musk’s SpaceX to bring down the International Space Station (ISS) within the next few years.

You heard that right — SpaceX will soon start working on destroying the space station, albeit in a ‘safe’ manner.

The ISS is old, and NASA gave Musk’s company an ‘allowance’ of $843 million to develop a vehicle that will deorbit the ISS so it can safely crash into the ocean.

READ MORE: Why astronauts age slower while they’re in space

SpaceX lands NASA contract to bring down the ISS

Dubbed the ‘US Deorbit Vehicle,’ SpaceX has until 2030 to develop and launch the spacecraft that will bring down the International Space Station.

NASA’s contract includes a $843 million budget, and this number does not include any launch costs.

It’s all for the R&D and manufacturing costs.

Well, creating something like this from scratch will certainly be expensive.

Considering everything goes according to plan, the immensely large ISS, which is the size of a football field, will undergo a ‘splashdown’ in the ocean.

The International Space Station is nothing short of an engineering marvel, provided it entered service back in 1998.

Moreover, it has had several remarkable moments and provided us with breathtaking views of space.

But why is it being shut down?

What happens next?

Well, the ISS is its showing age, to be clear.

There have been several technical faults and damage, and some parts are too hard to replace.

Which is why the space agency will now support commercial space stations instead.

“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,” NASA HQ’s associate administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate, Ken Bowersox, said.

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

Several private companies like Blue Origin, Sierra Space, and Boeing are on track to build commercial space destinations that will likely replace the ISS.

As a matter of fact, Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef space station recently passed key tests.

Hence, it might just be one of the first commercial destinations launching into space.

The future of space travel and research will certainly be exciting since there has never been a private space station that several countries can use.

# Tags - ISS, NASA, Space, SpaceX


Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth is a tech nerd with a secret love of all things cars. He has been writing for a few years now, and on his free time you would find him gaming when he's not procrastinating.