SpaceX Awarded $843 Million Contract to Deorbit International Space Station

Written By

Aditya Singh

NASA has selected SpaceX to develop a spacecraft called the US Deorbit Vehicle and will be used to safely deorbit the ISS in 2030.

The $843 million contract will see SpaceX build and deliver the deorbit vehicle.

Weighing 430,000 kilograms, it is the largest structure ever built in space and will disintegrate in three stages during re-entry.

To ensure a safe and responsible transition, NASA plans to maintain full control of the deorbit vehicle throughout the mission.

The deorbit will target the remote Pacific Ocean area known as Point Nemo, the "graveyard of satellites and spaceships"

While much of the ISS material will be vaporised during re-entry, large pieces are expected to survive.

The US, Japan, Canada and ESA have committed to operating the ISS until 2030, but Russia has only committed until 2028.

The first segment of the ISS was launched in 1998 and has been continuously inhabited since 2001.