Unfortunately or not, all things must come to an end. That basic principle applies even to glorious projects such as the International Space Station. Five space agencies joined forces to make the project possible: NASA, the European Space Agency, CSA (the Canadian Space Agency), Roscosmos from Russia, and JAXA from Japan.
But the International Space Station will also face the end of the road, and that moment is coming fast. NASA decided to retire the spacecraft in a completely unexpected way, as CNN explains how.
NASA will crash the ISS into the ocean in 2031
In less than a decade, NASA will retire the ISS after activity of over 30 years. The station was launched in 1998 into Earth’s orbit. In 2031, NASA will crash it into the Pacific Ocean.
Patrick O’Neill, the marketing and communications+- manager of CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space), declared as CNN quotes:
We’ve had over 3000 experiments that have been happening on station, and there’s now over 30 commercial facilities that are operational.
He also said, as quoted by the same source:
Instead of having an ISS National Lab [on the ISS], perhaps you might segue into a low-Earth orbit national laboratory or national laboratory that encompasses some of these other commercial destinations.
There are plenty of reasons to believe that the International Space Station is an amazing creation. The station needs only 90 minutes to make a full rotation around the Earth. The station travels at a staggering speed of 5 miles per second. The ISS even completes 16 orbits of our planet in only 24 hours.
The International Space Station has even been the place where astronomers grew chile peppers. Enjoying chile peppers 400 kilometers above the surface isn’t actually our best idea of a great meal, but who knows, maybe the scheme will be repeated someday by the ISS crew.