1. Ron Jackson March 3, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    Why not launch on a Spacex Falcon 9? The launch cost is something like $40M, and it is projected to carry 9,900 Kg to LEO. Spacex has a contract to launch a Dragon spacecraft for transferring cargo to the ISS. Something should be able to be done for less than the $1B NASA was quoting for a non-shuttle launch.

    Admittedly Spacex hasn’t launched a Falcon 9 yet, but I expect they will figure it out. After all, it’s just rocket science.

  2. Daniel Fischer March 3, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    There were actually plans by NASA to de-orbit the ISS around 2015 – which raised quite an alarm with ESA (where there are really still people who believe some useful basic science could come out of the station): The tension was evident at ESA press events in 2006. The question of what the U.S. should do with the ISS in the next decade hasn’t been discussed much in public since – perhaps the American components could be sold to China or India in the end …

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