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Submission + - NASA: De-Orbit the ISS in 2016 1

NewbieV writes: "From a story in Monday's Washington Post:

The international space station is by far the largest spacecraft ever built by earthlings. Circling the Earth every 90 minutes, it often passes over North America and is visible from the ground when night has fallen but the station, up high, is still bathed in sunlight.
After more than a decade of construction, it is nearing completion and finally has a full crew of six astronauts. The last components should be installed by the end of next year.
And then?
"In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and de-orbit the spacecraft," says NASA's space station program manager, Michael T. Suffredini.

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NASA: De-Orbit the ISS in 2016

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  • In theory the ISS will reach the end of its lifespan around 2016. In practice, the non-USA partners are very interested in attempting to extend the nominal lifespan to around about 2020. Even if the USA abandons the station around 2016 and it is impossible to keep it operating, the Russians are said to be planning to disconnect their section of the ISS (including a Russian-built but USA-owned part) and creating their own mini-space station.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson