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Old July 29 2011, 04:33 PM   #18
jefferiestubes8
Commodore
 
Location: New York City
alternate uses outside orbit

the VASIMR engine a a 200-kilowatt plasma ion plasma rocket will be tested on the ISS.
October 2013 date set from the thread : ion plasma rocket being developed - VASIMR

The International Space Station orbits in the Thermosphere, between 320 and 380 km (200 and 240 mi).
The outermost layer of Earth's atmosphere extends from the exobase upward to 10,000km
The exosphere is almost a vacuum. Objects in the exosphere, like the Hubble Space Telescope (shown here), can be very hot when exposed to scorching sunlight or extremely cold when immersed in shadow.
Now why can't this VASIMR engine move the ISS to the edge of the exosphere and just beyond? It can be a total failsafe backup lifeboat if there is some major catastrophe where astronauts cannot land safely on Earth and must need a safety area lifeboat they can attach to returning from a trip beyond Earth's orbit.
A large sunshade can be attached to one side of most of the modules similar to Skylab before 2020 when they abandon human habitation and full power aboard the ISS. Perhaps there can be some standby power module for remote powerup.

Alternately why not move the ISS outside the exosphere to dead space and then Why not make a centrifugal space-station?
or possibly towing it to some high-altitude orbit Space Station around the Moon ? that could also be used as a lifeboat for any future missions to the moon by any countries.
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