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Thread: Does the International Space Station slow down?

  1. #1 Does the International Space Station slow down? 
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    Hey guys. I got quite a random question, I was watching a video on YouTube and it made me wonder something. Does the ISS slow down? The ISS is in the thermosphere, and according to wikipedia a single molecule will travel around 1 kilometre before hitting another one. So there are a few particles up there. Does that mean that the ISS is slowly down and is it going to one day eventually just begin to get lower and lower till it eventually collides with earth? If it is slowing down due to "air resistance", what are we going to do about it?

    Here's the video I was talking about explaining "why satellites orbit earth": youtube.com/watch?v=p1_UVSCm-wc is the video. Thanks guys. This question really has me stumped!


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  3. #2  
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    It will come down some time between 2020 and 2028.
    How Will the International Space Station Fall to Earth? | NASA & International Space Station | UARS, Space Junk & Orbital Debris | Space.com
    NASA and its international partners plan to operate the space station through at least 2020, and perhaps until 2028 or so. But when the orbiting lab's time is up, managers won't just let it drift toward an uncontrolled re-entry. Rather, they'll guide the complex to a fiery death over large stretches of trackless ocean, so that any surviving pieces will not conk anybody on the head.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    If someone doesn't lift it into higher orbit which can be done by those wanting to keep it on orbit.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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