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International Space Station to crash into the Pacific Ocean in 2031

NASA said it plans to retire the International Space Station in 2031 by crashing it into the Pacific Ocean. Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at Headquarters, said that the private sector will be taking the lead on space travel in the future and that NASA will help ensure a smooth transition.

He also said that the private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations with NASA assistance. They 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.

NASA said it plans to “de-orbit” the International Space Station over an uninhabited part of the South Pacific Ocean called Point Nemo. It will head back towards Earth in October 2026 and crash at Point Nemo in January 2031. The horsepower of three Russian Progress spacecraft will be required to pull it out of orbit.The station, launched in 1998, has hosted astronauts from 19 countries in their scientific ventures. The International Space Station has traveled 227 nautical miles in orbit above Earth during its more than two decades in space.  highlighted the Biden administration’s commitment to keeping the station open for the next decade.

They also added that the station is “busier than ever” with crews onboard advancing the technologies and procedures necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon and the first humans to Mars. NASA added that it would encourage and incentivize commercial companies that overtake space duties in 2031 to reach out to students.

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