NASA to destroy the International Space Station, make it crash to Earth!

NASA is going to destroy the International Space Station.

| Updated on: Feb 03 2022, 21:11 IST
International Space Station
By 2031, the International Space Station will be destroyed by NASA. (REUTERS)
International Space Station
By 2031, the International Space Station will be destroyed by NASA. (REUTERS)

NASA has confirmed that the space agency and its partners will destroy the International Space Station (ISS) in less than ten years. The International Space Station will meet its end in an ocean in one of the most remote places on Earth. Wondering why the iconic station is going to be destroyed despite its importance to humanity? The reason is simple. The ISS is already in its third decade of helping advance scientific knowledge. The station was never intended to last forever.

Scientists and researchers have been using the ISS for more than 20 years to undertake studies in biological, physical, biomedical, materials, and Earth and space science. It was built to last 15 years, but has now been operational for more than 20 years, and will have completed almost 31 years by the time it is destroyed. NASA claims that safety checks of the underlying structure have found it to be safe until 2030, but each new docking and undocking puts more strain on the system, and issues with some of the Russian modules, such as leaks, have arisen. Hence, the ISS will be permitted to crash into the atmosphere to avoid becoming a space hazard. However, getting there will take some time.

How will NASA destroy the International Space Station?

The ISS will begin preparing for its end in 2030, that's when NASA will start the station's engines, as well as any vehicles linked to it to reduce the station's orbit around Earth, NASA report mentioned. The station will pass the point of no return a year later, in January 2031, where drag rapidly accelerates its descent into the atmosphere. The ISS is so huge that it won't disintegrate fully after return. That's why NASA designed a long, gradual fall to allow controllers to navigate the ISS into the "South Pacific Oceanic Uninhabited Area," or shortly known as SPOUA.

What will replace the International Space Station?

Though, after the end of ISS, NASA won't be completely out of the space station business. NASA indicated that over the following decade, a number of commercially-run modules will be added to the station as part of the transition strategy. The goal is for them to eventually split apart and become their own commercial station, which will join at least three other privately-run orbital facilities scheduled to launch before 2030. NASA said it will be a customer of commercial operators rather than operating its own facilities, similar to how it gets seats from SpaceX to fly astronauts into space.

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First Published Date: 03 Feb, 21:11 IST