The International Space Station will die, eventually. And now we know when and where it will crash.
Endgame: The ISS will be used until 2030, which is about 15 years past its life expectancy.
- In 2031, it will come crashing down toward Earth.
Crashpoint: NASA said the ISS doesn’t have the power to de-orbit by itself and it will require additional spacecraft to make it happen.
- Per HuffPost, the additional spacecraft will bring the ISS out of orbit.
- Then, the ship will be aimed at the South Pacific Oceanic Uninhabited Area, around Point Nemo, which is the one location that’s farthest away from known land.
What they’re saying: “The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with NASA’s assistance. We 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,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters in a statement.
What to watch for: “Most objects will burn up as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere, but some fragments can survive. With its location far away from any landmasses, the area is considered a relatively safe place for falling space debris,” according to NBC News.