NASA has announced that the International Space Station will plunge into the sea in January 2031.
The Orbital Lab, launched in 1998, will land 1,678 miles (2,700 km) from land at Point Nemo, the Pacific’s final resting place for many dead satellites and space stations like Mir’s Russia, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The new expiration date for the ISS is due to the Biden Administration’s pledge to extend support for space station operations through 2030, NASA announced at the end of December. This week, the space agency announced a new transformation plan for low-Earth orbital science. Prior to decommissioning the ISS, NASA signed agreements with three private companies to launch commercial space stations for use by both private companies and government astronauts. These new commercial space stations will be launched by Blue Origin, Nanoracks LLC and Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, NASA said. They are expected to be operational in the late 2020s, before the ISS crashes into the sea.
“The private sector is technically and financially able to develop and operate commercial destinations in low Earth orbit, with support from NASA. We look forward to sharing lessons learned. its experience and operational experience with the private sector to help them develop safe, reliable and cost-effective destinations in space,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement.
In the meantime, the ISS will remain busy with experiments conducted on behalf of NASA researchers and private contractors.
Robyn Gatens, Director of the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters, said in the statement: “The International Space Station is entering its third and most productive decade as a ground-breaking science platform in the field of science. microgravity. “This third decade is one of results, building on our successful global partnership to verify human exploration and research technologies to support deep space exploration. , continue to return medical and environmental benefits to humanity, and lay the groundwork for a commercial future in low-Earth orbit.”
Among the long-term work being done on the space station are experiments to support NASA’s plans to bring humans back. moon and to Mars, according to the agency. NASA plans to send the first woman and first person of color to the moon this decade, although the time has been pushed from 2024 to “no earlier than 2025. ”
The ISS has been continuously occupied since 2000, but the football field length structure is showing its age. In 2021, small cracks were found in the space station’s Zarya module, this is the second time since 2019 that cracks have appeared. found on orbital lab.
Although space stations have been deodorized before, the ISS is the largest man-made object to ever occupy low Earth orbit. Debiting can be a challenge, according to Live Science’s sister site, Space.com. In 1979, a disorganized and ultimately uncontrollable debiting of NASA’s Skylab space station sent debris scattered across Australia. (Fortunately, no one was hurt.) The ISS is large enough that much of it likely won’t burn out in the atmosphere, and its irregularly shaped solar arrays could make the station difficult to control as it does. swirls down, according to Space.com.
Originally published on Live Science.
https://www.space.com/international-space-station-deorbit-water-grave-date NASA announced that the International Space Station will plunge into the sea in 2031