TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Jun 22, 2024

International Space Station to crash down to Earth in 2031

International Space Station to crash down to Earth in 2031

The International Space Station (ISS) will continue working until 2030, before plunging into the Pacific Ocean in early 2031, according to Nasa.

In a report this week, the US space agency said the ISS would crash into a part of the ocean known as Point Nemo.

This is the point furthest from land on planet Earth, also known as the spacecraft cemetery.

Many old satellites and other space debris have crashed there, including the Russian space station Mir in 2001.

Nasa said that in the future space activities close to Earth would be led by the commercial sector.

The ISS - a joint project involving five space agencies - has been in orbit since 1998 and has been continuously crewed since 2000. More than 3,000 research investigations have taken place in its microgravity laboratory.

However, it is only approved to operate until 2024 and any extension must be agreed by all partners.

Nasa said the plan to retire the ISS marked a transition to the commercial sector for activities in low-Earth orbit - the area of space close to Earth.

"The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with Nasa's assistance," said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at Nasa Headquarters.

In 2020, Nasa awarded a contract to Texas-based company Axiom Space to build at least one habitable module to be attached to the ISS. It has also provided funding to to three companies to develop designs for space stations and other commercial destinations in orbit.

It is hoped that these new projects will be in at least partial operation before the ISS is retired.

Nasa said it wanted to create a "robust, American-led commercial economy in low-Earth orbit".

Elon Musk's SpaceX spacecraft carry crew and cargo to the ISS


The commercial sector is already an important part of the US space programme, with private companies responsible for delivering crew and cargo. Russia's Soyuz and Progress spacecraft are also used.

According to Nasa, it will save $1.3bn (£956m) by transitioning to the private sector for activities in low-Earth orbit, money which instead can be spent on deep-space exploration.

The savings are anticipated because Nasa will only be paying for the services it needs, rather than for the maintenance and operations of the ISS. Nasa also points out that the private sector space stations will be newer and should require fewer spare parts.

Nasa said it had analysed its ISS budget on an annual basis and that it would continue to refine its savings estimates.

The transition report published by Nasa this week comes after the administration of US President Joe Biden said it had committed to extend the space station's activities until 2030.

However, the extension still requires the support of international partners, including Russia, and funding for the ISS is currently only approved by US Congress until 2024.

In an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax in December 2021, the head of Russia's space programme, Dmitry Rogozin, indicated a willingness to work with Nasa beyond 2024.

"Actions speak louder than words," he said. "This year we sent a new Nauka module to the ISS, which is expected to last at least 10 years."

The head of Roscosmos also complained that US sanctions on Russia were hurting the Russian space industry, and he has previously said Russia could end its participation in the ISS programme if the sanctions are not lifted.

The US and its Western partners have threatened further sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine, although the exact nature of those sanctions is not yet known.

Russia has previously said that structural fatigue meant the ISS would not be capable of working beyond 2030, and warned that outdated equipment could lead to "irreparable" failures.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×