International Space Station to plunge into Pacific in 2031: NASA – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: The International Space Station (ISS) will continue operations until 2030 and will plunge to the farthest point of the Pacific Ocean in 2031, NASA confirmed in a new transition plan released this week.
According to the budget estimates of the space agency, the ISS, launched in 1998, will be “deorbited” in January 2031.
Once out of orbit, the space station will make a dramatic descent before landing at Point Nemo, which is about 2,700 km from any land and is known as the space graveyard, a final resting place for decommissioned space stations, satellites old and others. human space debris, The Guardian reported.
Also known as the “Ocean Pole of Inaccessibility” or the “South Pacific Ocean Uninhabited Area”, the region around the space graveyard is known for its utter lack of human activity. It is “pretty much the furthest place from any human civilization that you can find,” NASA has said.
This week, the space agency announced a new transition plan for low-Earth orbit science.
Additionally, NASA has 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 falls into the sea, Space.com reported.
Until then, the ISS will remain busy with experiments conducted both on behalf of NASA researchers and private contractors.
“The International Space Station is entering its third and most productive decade as an innovative science platform in microgravity,” Robyn Gatens, director of the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters, said in the statement.
“This third decade is one of the results, building on our successful global partnership to verify human research and exploration technologies to support deep space exploration, continue to return medical and environmental benefits to humanity, and lay the foundation for a commercial future.” in low Earth orbit,” he added.
About the size of a football field, the ISS orbits Earth about once every 90 minutes and has been continuously occupied by astronauts since November 2000.
Last September, a Russian official warned that small cracks had been discovered in the space station that could worsen over time and raised concerns about aging equipment and the risk of “irreparable failures”, the BBC reported.
The space station was originally intended to operate for just 15 years, but NASA said in a report that “there is high confidence that the lifespan of the ISS can be further extended to 2030,” although some analysis is still underway. of its viability.

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