Home Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be destroying NASA’s International Space Station

Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be destroying NASA’s International Space Station


  • Elon Musk's SpaceX won a $843 million NASA contract to deorbit the International Space Station by 2030.
  • SpaceX will build the vehicle to safely bring down the ISS, ensuring no risk to populated areas during re-entry.
  • NASA aims for a smooth transition in low Earth orbit and supports future commercial space destinations.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a contract to bring down the NASA International Space Station at the end of its life.

The contract for the work, which has been valued at up to $843 million, was announced through a press release on Wednesday, June 26.

After supporting 3,300 experiments that couldn’t have been possible on Earth, the International Space Station will retire in 2030. Elon Musk’s SpaceX will “develop and deliver” the vehicle that will “provide the capability to deorbit the space station and ensure avoidance of risk to populated areas.”

Once this has been built, NASA will then take ownership of it and operate it throughout its mission. Along with the space station, it is expected to destructively break up as part of the re-entry process.

SpaceX is an American spacecraft manufacturer, launch service provider, and satellite communications company which is headquartered in California. It was founded in March 2002 by Elon Musk and the company has been a commercial partner of NASA for years.

It was one of the two American companies that NASA spoke within 2014 to explore commercial space transport.

NASA is entrusting SpaceX with deorbiting the space station

“Selecting a U.S. Deorbit Vehicle for the International Space Station will help NASA and its international partners ensure a safe and responsible transition in low Earth orbit at the end of station operations,” said Ken Bowersox, the associate administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters.

“This decision also supports NASA’s plans for future commercial destinations and allows for the continued use of space near Earth.”

The International Space Station masses over 400,000 kilograms and after 25 years in orbit will soon be past its prime.

It was in September of 2023 when NASA first sought bids for the deorbit vehicle before they then landed on SpaceX which has now been confirmed.

The company hasn’t yet shared plans on what the vehicle will look like, but it has to be ready by 2029 ahead of the planned 2030 retirement.

Featured Image: Via Flickr

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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