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Spacewalk veterans take a trip outside the ISS to pump up the power with new solar arrays

bombastic bob Silver badge
Meh

de-orbit of small things can be absorbed by the atmosphere as long as they don't have anything REALLY toxic or dangerous in them. The large amounts of things like Selenium and Cadmium in solar panels might cause some level of contamination depending on where the particles end up falling. Over the ocean, not so bad. Over a large body of water that supplies drinking water for people and water for farming, not so good.

And de-orbit of BIG things (Skylab, Mir) hasn't gone so well in the past...

(keeping the ISS alive and expanding may prove to be the better alternative, at least in MY bombastic opinion)

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