International Space Station to crash down to Earth in 2031

The International Space Station (ISS) will remain operational until 2030, before crashing into the Pacific Ocean in early 2031, according to NASA.

The ISS will crash into a portion of the ocean known as Point Nemo, which is the farthest point from land on planet Earth and also known as the spaceship cemetery, according to a new report from the US space agency.

Many outdated satellites and other space junk, including the Russian space station Mir in 2001, have crashed there, according to NASA.

International Space Station to crash down to Earth in 2031

Since 1998, the International Space Station (ISS), a collaborative effort of five space agencies, has been in orbit. In its microgravity laboratory, more than 3,000 research studies have taken place.

However, the operating license expires in 2024, and any extension must be agreed upon by all partners, including Russia, which has complained about being hampered by US sanctions.

According to Nasa, the decision to decommission the ISS signals a shift to the commercial sector for activities in low-Earth orbit, or space around Earth.

“With NASA’s help, the private sector is technically and financially capable of creating and managing commercial low-Earth orbit destinations,” said Phil McAlister, NASA’s director of commercial space.

Nasa wants to build a “vibrant, American-led commercial economy in low-Earth orbit,” according to the agency.

Nasa claims that moving to the commercial sector for low-Earth orbit activities will save $1.3 billion (£956 million), money that can be spent on deep space exploration instead.

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