why the international space station isn’t high up in the orbit at least at a few 1000s miles away, not the 250 it’s right now?

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why the international space station isn’t high up in the orbit at least at a few 1000s miles away, not the 250 it’s right now?

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7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because it’s huge and we make regular trips to it so, quite simply, we built it relatively close to save fuel. If it were 4x as far away every trip there would be at least twice as expensive just due to the fuel requirement.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because the higher it is the more fuel you need to get there.
Since a rocket also needs fuel to carry fuel, the fuel requirements are not linear. So the rocket would need more fuel which would make everything more expensive.

Also, if there is an emergency the crew can get into the escape pod and be back on earth faster than from a 1000km height.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because being farther away doesn’t serve any benefit that outweighs the additional cost/time to get to/from.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The space shuttle was only designed to go to low Earth orbit. If it was higher up, Nasa wouldn’t have been able to send astronauts up there without designing a new rocket.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In addition to everything already said regarding ease of transit and fuel, there’s also the issue of radiation.  The reason solar radiation isn’t an issue here on the surface of the Earth is because the Earth’s magnetic field shields us and protects us from the worst of it.  That shield extends into space, *but only so far*.  The radiation environment at 400 km altitude is a little worse than on the surface, but not by much.  Out at a few thousand kilometers altitude its orders of magnitude worse though.  This would be an issue for both the astronauts, as well as all the equipment on the station itself.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I suspect the primary reason is the Van Allen radiation belt, which is 640 to 58,000 km of altitude.

It’s an area of the magnetic field that interacts with solar wind. It protects stuff inside that 640 but is riskier for electronics to go inside of. So you need to stay in LOE or go way out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As has been mentioned, it’s all about the effects of radiation. Further out from the earth’s magnetic field, would be lethal.