NASA expects to spend around $1 billion to deorbit the International Space Station as the orbiting laboratory reaches its end of service in the 2030s.
A report [PDF] released this week shows NASA will continue to support projects on the ISS, but is also looking towards building a new space lab and retiring the current model.
Officials have asked the White House for $228 million to build commercial space stations with US aerospace partners, and $180 million to build a deorbit module to take apart the ISS, pull it out of orbit, and dispose of its components over the Earth's oceans.
Kathy Lueders, NASA's human spaceflight chief, explained that the costs for the whole project were estimated to be "a little short of about $1 billion."
NASA is hoping that it'll be able to reduce costs by encouraging private aerospace operators to compete for contracts or request for proposals (RFPs) to build the deorbit module. "Our goal is to go out with an RFP, and then, obviously, when we get the proposals, then we're hoping to get a better price than that," she added.
The ISS is made up of multiple different modules that together span over 109 meters (356 feet) from one end to the other. Other agencies that have taken part in the spacecraft's activities – like Russia's Roscosmos – will also be responsible for disposing of their own parts safely. NASA has previously said it will work together with Roscosmos to deorbit the ISS using its Progress cargo spacecraft.