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NASA to Crash ISS into Pacific Ocean in 2031

Credit: Unsplash

The International Space Station, a collaborative scientific effort managed by NASA and contributed to by space agencies all over the world, has been up in the deep dark of space for a good 22 years. The ISS still has about 8 years of life left in it, but eventually, it will degrade to the point where it’s no longer safe or economical to keep astronauts aboard it. When the time comes to decommission the vessel, rather than just leaving it to wander space eternally, NASA will be giving it a grand finale.

When the ISS’ time is up in 2030, the vessel will be remotely guided toward the planet, where it will crash down magnificently into a region of the Pacific Ocean commonly known as the “space graveyard,” named as such due to the number of derelict satellites and vessels that float beneath it. Obviously, all of the astronauts, experiments, and other important equipment will have been long removed from the ISS before this happens.

The ISS, aside from providing invaluable data about the prospective of sustained human life in microgravity, has also given the space industry a lot of ideas on how to create their own vessels and small colonies. All of the agencies involved in the ISS’ management are planning on putting new vessels into orbit once its time has passed.

“The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with NASA’s assistance,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters.

“We look forward to sharing our lessons learned and operations experience with the private sector to help them develop safe, reliable, and cost-effective destinations in space.”


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