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Questions tagged [end-of-life]

Questions related to extending the lifetime, and determining when the useful period of a satellite has ended

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How long could a spacecraft be attached to ISS?

I've recently noticed how the "Design life, when docked to Space Station" parameter, varies across some of the modern spacecraft that are capable of docking to ISS these days: H-II Transfer Vehicle - ...
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Is there an end-of-life policy for Martian satellites?

When a terrestrial satellite nears the end of its useful life, it is often de-orbited to burn up in the atmosphere or sent up into a graveyard orbit. This is done to prevent the satellite from being ...
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Has the answer to PopSci's question “How Many Years Does The Space Station Have Left?” been published?

This answer to the question Why does the ISS have to be destroyed? begins It doesn't, not really, but there will come a time when it will simply not be worth keeping it up. and mentions a study, ...
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Why are deorbited satellites allowed a slow orbit decay instead of burning them up rapidly?

In "What are the conditions for re-entry of an object in a (highly) elliptical orbit?" Eerie asks about orbital mechanics of orbital decay of decommissioned satellite: starting with extremely ...
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How can Cassini be a source of potential biological contamination?

In Wikipedia they mention that the Cassini spaceship will be destroyed in by sending it into Saturn's atmosphere: However, due to the spacecraft's dwindling fuel resources for further orbital ...
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When Juno finally de-orbits into Jupiter, will metal sink to the core, or remain in the atmosphere?

The answer would have to be best scientific guess or theory, rather than fact, but has any thought been given to what actually happens to the metallic elements of a spacecraft de-orbited into Jupiter? ...
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4answers
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Why destroy Juno at the end of the mission?

As follows from the mission timeline: Launch - August 5, 2011 Deep Space Maneuvers - August/September 2012 Earth flyby gravity assist - October 2013 Jupiter arrival - July 2016 Spacecraft will orbit ...
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Why would Cassini need to reach 64 degrees inclination before “threading the needle”?

The NY Times article Cassini’s Final Mission: Obliteration says that the Cassini spacecraft will end it's more than a decade long exploration of the Saturn system by raising the inclination of its ...
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What typically ends a satellite's life?

It has been my opinion that running out of station keeping propellent is what usually ends a satellite's useful life. Is this true? How much do different factors play in a satellite's lifespan? Some ...
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Why is NASA planning to deorbit the ISS instead of reusing its newer modules, like the Russians will?

I was reading about Russia's plans to detach their modules from the ISS before its deorbit and use them to begin a new space station. The version I read said Zvezda (DOS-8) and Poisk (MRM-2) are ...
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Can the Philae lander survive one orbit of 67P? [duplicate]

The Aphelion of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is about 5.6829 AU. It has a orbital period of 6.44 years. If it stays on the comet for the entire period of its orbit, can it be usable when it is in the ...
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How many space craft have been intentionally crashed through 2014?

A couple of comments on the question Has there been any mission to land on a planet or moon in the Outer Solar System? suggesting that there is no scientific benefit to a crash on a moon, reminded me ...
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How big of a problem is the Lunar eclipse in April 2014 for LADEE?

I've been watching this NASA ScienceCasts video on YouTube (also published on NASA Science), and towards the end the narrator mentiones the end of life for the LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust ...
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1answer
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Could Cassini crash land on Mercury?

I saw a news article once that discussed having Cassini use gravity assists to crash land on Mercury to end it's life. Is this even possible, and is there a chance that this could actually happen? Or ...
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What are the end-of-life options for large classified satellites?

The Delta IV Heavy recently launched NORL-65 to a low Earth orbit. Some of these missions will be in the range of 390 km altitude with circular orbits. Plus, the Delta IV Heavy is a big rocket, with ...
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2answers
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What is the life expectancy of a geosynchronous satellite dependent on?

When a geosynchronous/geostationary satellite is launched, how do its designers calculate its life expectancy? A random sampling of some communication satellites suggest that ~ten years might be the ...
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How do space missions preserve their batteries for so long?

If I have a set of rechargeable batteries, I count myself lucky if I can get them to last for more than 2 years. Yet there are many spacecraft out there, which use their batteries much more regularly ...
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Why decommission the ISS?

What concerns, besides orbit decay and continued cost of operation (and potentially, a critical failure) are the motivations behind decommissioning the ISS by 2020? I mean, I'm fairly sure it would be ...