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Ratstail91 t1_jc7c5td wrote

I personally think the space station needs to be preserved as a historical monument somehow, and it's really sad that they're planning to bring it down.

I'm fully aware that I'm not an expert though - so I'd delegate decision to people who are... I just wish there was another way.


julia_fns t1_jc7eabj wrote

The station loses altitude constantly (but slowly) due to atmospheric drag, it won’t stay there if it’s abandoned.


SwerdnaJack t1_jc7fhcd wrote

We could put it into a parking orbit though. I’ll start a go fund me.


maxcorrice t1_jc7m1go wrote

It takes a lot of delta V to do it, definitely not impossible but best bet would be to keep a schedule similar to the current one but the boosts go for much longer to get it into a slightly higher orbit each time, it’ll cost less total but for longer and it’ll give us time to get better more efficient engines, or it could be used as a testbed for things like ion engines where they have low thrust but high efficiency


Northwindlowlander t1_jc9282w wrote

Putting into a parking or graveyard orbit would be a ton of effort. But pruning it a bit to reduce drag once it's unmanned, and lifting it somewhat higher would be pretty easy. At this point, literally just a matter of cost.


SwerdnaJack t1_jcarq0i wrote

That’s what the go fund me is for


Northwindlowlander t1_jcavf3f wrote

What I was getting at is that parking/graveyard orbits aren't realyl practical, and people tend to react as if that makes any sort of preservation impossible, and that can obscure the fact that it doesn't need to be permanent, it just needs to be sustainable.

Anyone that knows that lifting it to a permanent orbit isn't practical, should also know what the alternatives are, but that doesn't seem to stop it... Tell you what, you book the Dragon, I'll get some jerrycans of rocket fuel


Martianspirit t1_jcaiski wrote

I wonder what exactly is the plan. Just get it down enough that the atmosphere will do the rest of the braking?

I guess they will want a targeted deorbit, which means they need to brake with propulsion until it deorbits.


Raspberry-Famous t1_jcbcasy wrote

The plan is to gradually put it into an elliptical orbit where the perigee is as low as it can go and then to do one big burn that will put it into a steep enough final descent that all of the debris will end up in more or less the same place.


xylopyrography t1_jc7sjk5 wrote

This would be so expensive.

If it's kept in space it becomes a major risk to contribute to space junk.


Ratstail91 t1_jc8okdd wrote

That's true - this is why I'm not in charge.


xylopyrography t1_jc8v5s8 wrote

It'd be awesome if there were away to capture it in a way that is cost effective and safe.

But, alas. Space is hard.


thegoodtimelord t1_jc8m6mf wrote

We need a VR tour of the entire station to be preserved for future generations.


kittyrocket t1_jc8ltk6 wrote

Huh, I'm suddenly wondering if Axiom could take a module or two with them when they bud off of the ISS. Those could be their 'historical wing' where a billionaire adventurer could get an 'authentic ISS experience. More marketing copy blah blah blah.'


Martianspirit t1_jcai48s wrote

I guess they will keep the cupola. Anyting else? I don't think so.


bookers555 t1_jc8ko8l wrote

Its travelling at almost 30.000 km/h and at a height of 400km.

If you reduce its speed, it just falls to the ground, if you just reduce height, it burns up.

So unless you have some sci fi anti-gravity tech, its just impossible to bring it back.

And if its kept in space there's the risk of it crashing with something and becoming a huge swarm of junk.

Its sad to see it go, but deorbiting it is the safest thing.

No matter, the next one will be bigger and better.


JayR_97 t1_jc7rkdr wrote

Yeah, it 100% should be preserved if we can


GatoNanashi t1_jc82vao wrote

There's no real way to do it. Nothing exists that can bring the segments down intact so the only option is to try and boost it into a parking orbit somewhere. At that point it's basically just more abandoned crap in space.

I get you, but it's just not practical in any way even taking money out of the equation.


Overcriticalengineer t1_jc8akgj wrote

There is, but not in the way people would normally think. Usually, there’s two of each module made in case something happens. Take all of the spares, make an ISS on the ground.

Edit: I need to do some research if spares were made for the main modules. Kinda want to see how much of this would be possible for a full list. At the least, there’s a list of some spares that might be used.


ChoPT t1_jc915lk wrote

I have an idea.

Send up empty space shuttles, detach and load up the modules you want to save into the shuttle's bay, and land the shuttle safely.


Fellowearthling16 t1_jcccr7h wrote

We don’t have any functional space shuttle anymore. They’re all pretty much taxidermied, with the outsides in museums and the fictional parts still with NASA.