The Space Station is going to be dismantled when the funding runs out
Funding for the project is due to run out and the plans have been revealed by Ellen Stofan, Nasa’s former chief scientist.
She said: “The future of the ISS is a big issue for Nasa. The funding is there till 2024 but then it must start moving money to human Mars missions.
It is huge, the size of a football pitch, so the overall plan is to drop it into the Pacific
“If we keep it fully funded after 2024 it will compromise the Mars budget and by 2028 it will start failing. It is huge, the size of a football pitch, so the overall plan is to drop it into the Pacific.”
It is predicted that the fuel tanks and enormous modules would cause a series of fireballs as they hit explode in the atmosphere.
Amazing images as U.S.-Russian crew blasts off for space station with one empty seat
Thu, April 20, 2017
A scaled-down, two-man U.S.-Russian crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-hour ride to the International Space Station. A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, 43, and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, 58, lifted off with a rare empty third seat
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Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft carrying crew of US' Fischer and Yurchikhin of Russia blasts off to the ISS from launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
A more ambitious space station could replace the current one and act as a “transfer station” for missions to Mars, according to reports.
Ms Stofan added: “To get to Mars we would need a transfer station. That means launching the modules for a Mars space ship and assembling them in an orbit around the moon.”
David Parker, director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency (ESA), pointed out the £300million a year cost of the ISS.
He said: “Our plan is to free up this money from the mid-2020s to explore beyond low earth orbit… that will eventually mean de-orbiting the ISS.
The Nasa scientist will be speaking about the plans at the Cheltenham Science Festival
“The south Pacific is the target and it will be a huge fireworks display.”
It follows reports that China are due to begin the construction of a permanently manned space station after carrying out a successful in-orbit refuelling from its Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft.
China have prioritised advancing their space program
The successful five-day refuelling, directed from technicians on Earth and completed on Thursday, is a key milestone toward China's plans to begin sending crews to a permanent space station by 2022.
President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space program to strengthen national security.