How to incinerate the International Space Station | Engadget

When the final 3-astronaut crew departed in early 1974, the station was boosted one last time to 6.8 miles further out in a 289-mile graveyard orbit. Both Americas Skylab and Russias Mir space stations were decommissioned in this manner.Skylab was Americas first space station, for the whole 24 weeks it was in use. The agency also rejected a proposal to blow the station up with missiles while still in orbit. "We've done a lot of studies," Kirk Shireman, deputy manager of NASA's space station program, told Space.com in 2011. Then, the Progress M1-5 spacecraft basically an attachable rocket designed specifically to help deorbit the station docked with the Mir. It was expected to remain there until the 1980s when increased solar activity from the waxing 11-year solar cycle would eventually drag it down into a fiery reentry. The station eventually came down on July 11th, 1979, though it didnt burn up in the atmosphere as quickly as NASA had predicted.
It took NASA and its partners nearly four dozen trips between 1998 and 2010 to haul the roughly 900,000 pounds worth of various modules into orbit that make up the $100 billion International Space St… [+7308 chars]