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Space & Astronomy

ISS will end up at the bottom of the sea in 2031

By T.K. Randall
February 3, 2022 · Comment icon 5 comments

The International Space Station's days are numbered. Image Credit: NASA
NASA has confirmed its plans for the decommissioning and final de-orbiting of the long-lived space station.
While the International Space Station will be around for a few more years yet, in January 2031 it will begin one last journey to its final resting place at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

The plans, which were revealed this week by NASA, mark the end of an era for what is certainly the most ambitious and successful space station that humanity has ever built.

Ever since the first module was launched all the way back in 1998, the station has not only helped to advance our understanding of space, but has also paved the way for numerous scientific discoveries while also helping to benefit international relations between dozens of countries along the way.

It will ultimately end up in what has become known as the "Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility" - a remote region of the South Pacific known for its use as a cemetery for old satellites and spacecraft.
It is unclear whether there will ever be another orbiting platform quite like the ISS again - especially given the rise in private companies launching their own rockets and space missions.

In recent years, several countries - including Russia and China - have been moving towards building their own dedicated stations, while there are also plans for a space station in orbit around the Moon.

"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," said NASA's Phil McAlister.

Whatever happens, though, the ISS will go down in history as a hugely important stepping stone in humanity's ongoing journey towards the stars.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by OverSword 2 years ago
I wonder what ISS the next generation will be like?  Or will the private sector take over and dominate space exploration and exploitation going forward?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Saru 2 years ago
I tend to think the private sector will dominate in the not-too-distant future.
Comment icon #3 Posted by OverSword 2 years ago
It's inevitable if there is a profit to be made.  Watched a documentary a while back about the development of machines designed to mine on the moon.  At this point it looks like too big a challenge due to low gravity and the coarseness of moon dust.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by razman 2 years ago
So they're gonna pollute the world some more instead of recycling it?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
We need that to be filmed in the ISS, outside of it and on the ground. Next station need to be at a lagrange point.

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