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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2007-Nov-27, 11:40 AM
Would it make any sense/be feasable to recycle ISS modules at the end of the stations life? These things are already in orbit. Could they be used as transfer/cargo modules for the moon?

Noclevername
2007-Nov-27, 02:05 PM
Would it make any sense/be feasable to recycle ISS modules at the end of the stations life? These things are already in orbit. Could they be used as transfer/cargo modules for the moon?

Given the condition it's already in, by the time we need such a thing I doubt the ISS will be in any shape to serve the purpose. Nor will it be worth the expence of moving it to a higher orbit, let alone a Lunar one.

Larry Jacks
2007-Nov-27, 02:19 PM
Would it make any sense/be feasable to recycle ISS modules at the end of the stations life? These things are already in orbit. Could they be used as transfer/cargo modules for the moon?

Just as a family minivan would make a lousy race car, ISS modules are ill suited for other tasks. They were designed for a specific purpose. Most of them lack the ability to operate independently because they don't have their own propulsion, attitude control, guidance, and other systems. Instead, they depend on the ISS itself for core services.

There's also the issue of mass - the ISS modules were designed to function in LEO so they need debris shielding. However, that shielding isn't the kind that you'd want for operations beyond the van Allen radiation belts.

The ISS is in an orbit inclinded to the equator by over 50 degrees. This is done because that's the minimum inclination directly supportable by launches from Russia. However, we pay a substancial performance penalty when we launch from the US into that inclination. All in all, I see the ISS as a dead end, the good ship Moneysucker.