NASA plans to crash the International Space Station into the ocean

NASA has released a report to Congress detailing its plans to move the ISS into deorbit – and ultimately bring it down – over the next decade. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – NASA is planning a splashy retirement party for the International Space Station (ISS), with plans to crash it into the Pacific Ocean in 2031.

NASA announced the plan in a report submitted to Congress earlier this week. The agency also provided insight into continued space research on subsequent low-Earth orbit stations operated by the commercial sector.

According to NASA’s schedule, NASA will begin deorbit procedures between late 2026 and mid-2028, lowering the ISS’s altitude (and increasing its speed) until, eventually, the operators of the station can carry out a re-entry burn on an uninhabited part. of the Pacific Ocean, according to the report. Three “visitor vehicles” will also help propel the ISS to the target area.

The start of the school year is scheduled for January 2031.

This figure included in the NASA report shows the timeline of ISS reentry maneuvers, which “may begin at different times depending on solar cycle activity and its effect on Earth’s atmosphere.” (NASA)

The ISS, launched in 1998, is expected to remain operational until 2030.

“This third decade is one of the results, building on our successful global partnership to verify exploration and human research 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,” Robyn Gates, ISS Director at NASA Headquarters, said in a press release. “We look forward to maximizing these returns from the space station until 2030 while planning the transition to commercial space destinations that will follow.”

NASA plans to help the private sector develop future space stations for use by researchers, a venture it is now “technically and financially capable of,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA headquarters. Nasa.

NASA said its ultimate goal is to become one of “the many customers of these commercial destination providers, purchasing only the goods and services the agency needs.”

In the meantime, NASA has reported “strong confidence” that the structural health of the ISS can support its prolonged operation. There is, however, a limit to the “technical lifespan” of its primary structural components, which cannot be repaired or replaced in orbit like its power or life support systems, NASA said, ultimately prompting on his retirement.

Comments are closed.