The End is Near for the ISS →

Last year, NASA announced plans to deorbit the International Space Station at the end of the decade. We now know much more about the agency’s plans, according to Jeff Foust:

NASA selected SpaceX to develop a spacecraft that will be used to perform the final phases of the deorbiting of the International Space Station around the end of the decade.

NASA announced June 26 it awarded SpaceX a contract valued at up to $843 million to build the United States Deorbit Vehicle (USDV). That contract covers the development of the spacecraft, with NASA to conduct a later procurement for launching the USDV.

Little is known about what the USDV will look like or what its capabilities will be, but it is clear that NASA believes a controlled deorbiting of the station is the safest way to close the chapter on the ISS.