Russia Plans to Sink the International Space Station in 2020


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Dusco25

Russia's space agency announced Wednesday that the International Space Station -- a space base the world's scientists and billions of U.S. tax dollars helped build and maintain some 200 miles above the surface of the Earth -- will be de-orbited and allowed to sink into the Pacific Ocean in 2020, just like its Russian predecessor, Mir.

"We will be forced to sink the ISS. We cannot leave it in orbit as it is a very complicated and a heavy object," Roscosmos' deputy head Vitaly Davydov said in an interview posted on the agency's website.

"We have agreed with our partners that the ISS would function roughly until 2020," he noted.

After sinking hundreds of millions into construction of the space station -- billions if you include the cost of the space shuttle flights that carried the ISS modules into orbit -- knowledgeable government sources and NASA spokesmen were aghast at Davydov's plans to sink the station in the ocean.

This isn't the first time I've seen Russia come out with a statement that seems to be coming out of their own stovepipes," one congressional representative told FoxNews.com. "I would give it no credence at all."

"We wouldn't allow astronauts to be on the station if there's a sense that it's limping along," he added.

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DocM

The original plan was to splash ISS in 2016, but last year the partners extended it to 2020.

Just a few days ago China announced that their first space station module would not use ISS standard docking, berthing etc methods. Makes me wonder of they and Roscosmos have something up their sleeves.

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torrentthief

could i have a piece of it to hang on my wall?

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neufuse

could i have a piece of it to hang on my wall?

get your baseball glove out and try to catch a piece when it falls into the pacific

what I love is how Foxnews is playing this off as an OMG WASTING MONEY AND RUSSIANS!!!!!! thing, when the original thing wasn't even designed to last that long, heck fox makes it sound like it should be up there for 50yrs at least or something

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spudtrooper

get your baseball glove out and try to catch a piece when it falls into the pacific

what I love is how Foxnews is playing this off as an OMG WASTING MONEY AND RUSSIANS!!!!!! thing, when the original thing wasn't even designed to last that long, heck fox makes it sound like it should be up there for 50yrs at least or something

That, and the fact that the US doesn't really have any capability to maintain it right now either sort of puts us at the whims of Roscosmos..

I hope that we don't keep it flying for the sake of keeping it flying.. i'd rather see it wrap up and finish the JWST.

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neufuse

That, and the fact that the US doesn't really have any capability to maintain it right now either sort of puts us at the whims of Roscosmos..

I hope that we don't keep it flying for the sake of keeping it flying.. i'd rather see it wrap up and finish the JWST.

Space X got approved for some things, they are doing a docking test in December I think, takes some of the load off the Russians

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+Ryster

If the ISS is still working correctly at that point, why would they wan't to destroy it? Surely it's usefulness doesn't just cease at some arbitrarily decided point in time?

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neufuse

If the ISS is still working correctly at that point, why would they wan't to destroy it? Surely it's usefulness doesn't just cease at some arbitrarily decided point in time?

I'd say it dies when ever it gets major damage like the MIR did, or has some kind of failure that costs too much to fix

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remixedcat

I hate how sad our spaceflight has become.... you'd think by now we'd be cruisin around the universe and stuff and having awesome tech... but nope still depressing. bleh.

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threetonesun

I hate how sad our spaceflight has become.... you'd think by now we'd be cruisin around the universe and stuff and having awesome tech... but nope still depressing. bleh.

We are, and we do... there just aren't people in those vessels. We'd need some impressive upgrades in humans before we get to the far reaches of our solar system.

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Soulsiphon

They're going to evacuate it first right? :whistle:

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Geoffrey B.

kinda stupid that you would spend all that money and resources and then put a limit on it before you even know if it can live longer than that. i say let it stay up there until you determine it isnt safe anymore then make the decision.

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Ci7

We are, and we do... there just aren't people in those vessels. We'd need some impressive upgrades in humans before we get to the far reaches of our solar system.

nanotechnology to the rescue :p

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remixedcat

Yeah if we had nanites we can have anything!

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ahhell

I guess it's inevitable. I can't imagine maintenance would be very cheap on that thing. Lol.

I probably takes a beating too so it would be very unsafe as it ages.

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perochan

they should leave it up there and make it idle. restart it when russia or USA has money to spend.

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-KJ

They're going to evacuate it first right? :whistle:

Now where's the fun in that?!

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DocM

Yearly operating costs for the US (it's 80% ours) is around $2.5 - $3.0 billion, not counting resupply flights (~ $3B for SpaceX and Orbital Sciences [12 and 8 flights respectively until 2015] + Europe's ATV & Japan's HTV [about $500M - $1B a pop] and Russia's Progress) and parts.

Bring on Bigelow :p

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Hum

Sure makes all those expensive Shuttle missions worthwhile. :yes:

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tiagosilva29
Yearly operating costs for the US (it's 80% ours) is around $2.5 - $3.0 billion, not counting resupply flights (~ $3B for SpaceX and Orbital Sciences [12 and 8 flights respectively until 2015] + Europe's ATV & Japan's HTV [about $500M - $1B a pop] and Russia's Progress) and parts.
If you guys weren't so found of wargames you'd have that money covered and more.
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DocM

Iraq is winding down.

Afghanistan is winding down with troop removals scheduled

Overseas and domestic base closings are a lock

but Obama's Libyan fiasco is running gangbusters at $billions clip. Wouldn't surprise me to see him escalate in Yemen and get involved in Syria too.

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Dinggus

They started building it in 1998 and it's not expected to be "completed" until 2012, so why give it only 8 years once it's completed?

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DocM

Money mainly.

Truth: ISS was mainly an excuse to keep the Shuttle flying so certain congressmen & senators could keep big NASA jobs programs in their districts.

Without ISS Shuttle was to stand down in the early 1990's to be replaced by the HL-20 and HL-40 (larger) spaceplanes. Both were a threat to Shuttle (cheaper to make & operate) and got canceled shortly before HL-20 was to fly on a Titan rocket. 95% of the project was done.

HL-20 was sold to SpaceDev as Dream Chaser, and Sierra Nevada inherited it when it bought SpaceDev. DC is srt for glide tests next year and crewed flights ~2014 - finally.

Bigelow's habitat tech was started as a NASA module for ISS called TransHab. It was superior in every way to ISS's aluminum-lithium alloy cans, but got cut for budget reasons.

Bigelow bought the TransHab righte from NASA, made and patented hundreds of improvements and now he's just waiting for commercial crew to ramp up as this fall his factory will have 3 lines and about 360,000 sq/ft of space.

Bigelow has single modules designed that would have 2X the habitable volume of ISS and could go up on ONE rocket.

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JonathanVP

Should be quite a sight to see it crash and burn...time to bring out the popcorn!

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DocM

It'll go down in the South Pacific off Australia & New Zealand.

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