NASA plans to retire the International Space Station at the end of 2030 and crash it into the Pacific Ocean in an area called Point Nemo, according to a NASA press release.

After three decades, a private sector will be taking over operations in future space travel and NASA will continue to support the transition. 

“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,” Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters, said in the release. 

The extension of operations at the space station until 2030 was backed by the Biden administration and the station is “busier than ever” conducting experiments for government agencies and advancing technologies to send the first woman and first person of color to the moon, and the first humans to Mars.

“The International Space Station is entering its third and most productive decade as a groundbreaking scientific platform in microgravity,” Robyn Gatens, director of the space station at NASA Headquarters, said in the release. 

The space station first launched in November 1998 and has orbited the Earth over 100,000 times. In October 2026, the spacecraft will begin its journey back toward Earth and crash at Point Nemo in January 2031, according to the transition report attached to the release. 

A goal outlined in the transition report is to engage a diverse group of students to create a future diverse space workforce.

“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, and researchers,” NASA said. “It is thus crucial to our nation and NASA’s efforts to maintain the interest and curiosity of today’s students so they continue to be inspired by and participate in the wide scope of space exploration roles.”

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One thought on “NASA’s International Space Station May Crash Into Pacific Ocean In 2031”
  1. Why not give it a boost or a tow it out to a further orbit? Why anyway do orbits disintegrate and the moon does not, or does it too get closer to a crash?

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