International Space Station will hurtle to Earth in 2031
Bezos and Musk are licking their lips
After three decades of floating in the cosmos, NASA has announced that the International Space Station (ISS) will come hurtling to Earth in a ball of fire in just under a decade.
The station will travel 227 miles to the surface of the planet at around 17,000 miles per hour come January 2031 when the 356-foot wide space platform will be “de-orbited” and plunge into the South Pacific.
The @Space_Station has provided a unique opportunity for research and results for more than 20 years — that’s a lot of science!
The Biden-Harris Administration has extended operations for the orbital lab until 2030. Find out what we'll be prepping for: https://t.co/zk6B5JIz9f pic.twitter.com/FMcmj0hfen
— NASA (@NASA) January 31, 2022
Reports suggest that the ISS will be decommissioned in 2030 before crashing to Earth a year later 1,677 miles (2,700 kilometres) away from land.
The crash site is often referred to as the “oceanic pole of inaccessibility” or the “South Pacific Uninhabited Area,” as it’s often used to send space-junk to a watery grave.
NASA called the water “pretty much the farthest place from any human civilization you can find.”
While the ISS has stood as the pillar of interstellar exploration for decades, NASA has no plans to replace it.
Instead, the space agency is looking to work with commercial space ventures to house their astronauts during in-orbit endeavours. This will allegedly save $1.3bn in just the first year and it probably means we can all watch Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk fight it out.
Robyn Gatens, the director of the International Space Station at NASA headquarters, said they are looking to “lay the groundwork for a commercial future in low-Earth orbit.”
In a joint statement, Phil McAlister, the director of commercial space at NASA headquarters, also said: “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.”
They added that the saved money would “be applied to NASA’s deep space exploration initiatives, allowing the agency to explore further and faster into deep space.”
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