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NASA to retire International Space Station in January 2031, to fall in the Pacific Ocean

ISS retires

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced that the International Space Station (ISS) will cease operations by 2031. The Director of the ISS, Robin Gates, said in a press release that the International Space Station is entering its third and most productive decade. An unprecedented scientific platform in microgravity. At the end of the year 2030, low-Earth orbit will see the last of the International Space Station as the floating laboratory ceases to operate and topple Earth.

International Space Station: What’s the significance?

1. The International Space Station has been hovering in low Earth orbit for more than two decades, zooming in on Earth’s circumference at 8 km per second.

2. The International Space Station is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that has helped in the research of human civilization and has achieved some of the most cutting-edge scientific and technological advances.

3. The International Space Station also serves as a host to myriad scientific activities and experiments that contribute to preparations for sending the first woman and the first person of color to space.

4. The International Space Station also plays host to the unprecedented task of sending the first man to Mars by NASA.

ISS will retire in the Pacific Ocean

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in 2031 ISS operators will direct the station to fall into the South Pacific Ocean uninhabited zone, commonly known as Point Nemo. Point Nemo in the Pacific Ocean is considered the most remote place on Earth.

With this, the International Space Station will no longer be a cosmic entity but will return to the ground, and all that is left behind will be its legacy.

What will happen after the International Space Station retires?

NASA said in a press release that it is building a space for commercially owned and operated low-Earth orbit sites (CLDs). It will serve as an alternative to the International Space Station.

According to the Director of Commercial Space, NASA Headquarters, the private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating CLDs with the assistance of NASA.

About the International Space Station

The International Space Station was launched in 1998. It weighs 4,20,000 kg and is equal to the size of a football field 74 meters in length and 110 meters wide.

The International Space Station is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: NASA (US), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which scientific research is carried out in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, meteorology, and other fields.

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