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.
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.