(CNN) – NASA plans to keep the International Space Station (ISS) operational until the end of 2030, after which it will crash into a remote part of the Pacific known as Point Nemo, according to newly released plans that define its future.
Launched in 2000, this space laboratory orbited around 227 nautical miles (about 420 kilometers) above Earth and had more than 200 astronauts on board from 19 different countries, representing an ongoing human presence in space.
NASA said that commercially operated space platforms will replace the International Space Station as a space for collaboration and scientific research in space.
“The private sector is able to develop and operate commercial destinations in low Earth orbit, with the help of NASA. We look forward to sharing lessons learned and our experiences in operations with the private sector to help them develop safe, reliable and economically efficient destinations.” Commercial at NASA Headquarters in A Release.
“The report we submitted to Congress details our comprehensive plan to ensure a smooth transition to commercial destinations after the retirement of the International Space Station in 2030,” he added.
Space cemetery in the Pacific Ocean
in a Report of the transition to the International Space Station, NASA said the plan was to bring the International Space Station to Earth in an area known as the South Pacific Uninhabited Region, also known as Nemo point. The report said that their estimates assume that the process of de-orbiting will occur in January 2031.
Named after the submarine in Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Point Nemo is the farthest point in the ocean from Earth and has been a watery graveyard for many other spacecraft.
The region is located about 3,000 miles off the east coast of New Zealand and 2,000 miles north of Antarctica, and it is estimated that nations running space programs such as the United States, Russia, Japan and European nations have sunk more than 263 pieces of space debris since 1971.
The report said the ISS would carry out thrust maneuvers to ensure “safe entry into the atmosphere.”
The third decade of the International Space Station
The International Space Station will not rest on its laurels over the next eight years. According to the report, NASA’s goals for the next decade include using the International Space Station as a “parallel to a transit mission to Mars.”
“The International Space Station is entering its third and most productive decade as an innovative science platform in microgravity,” said Robin Gatines, director of the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters, in the statement.
“This third decade is one of delivering results, building on our successful global partnership to validate human research and exploration technologies to support deep space exploration, continue to bring back medical and environmental benefits to humanity, and lay the foundation for a commercially orbiting low-earth future.”
“We hope to maximize revenue from this space station through 2030 as we plan to move to commercial space destinations at a later time.”
The space station was a theater Many scientific firsts. The first 3D-printed element was produced on the space station in 2014. NASA astronaut Kate Robbins sequenced DNA in space for the first time in 2016. The fifth state of matter, called a Bose-Einstein condensate, was produced in space by the Atomic Laboratory NASA’s Cold Station in 2018.
The astronauts learned how to grow lettuce and green leafy vegetables in space. Astronauts tasted the first space-grown salad in 2015. Now, they’re growing radishes and chilies on the station. This may one day allow astronauts to grow their own food on deep space missions.
China, whose astronauts have long been banned from entering the International Space Station, launched last year The first unit of its expected space station. Although not as large as the International Space Station, the Chinese space station is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.
Russia said so Will leave the ISS project in 2025 And it plans to build its own space station, which could be launched in 2030.
CNN’s Ashley Strickland contributed to this report
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