NASA Plans to Shut Down the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS), which was first launched in October 2000 in cooperation with Russia following their 1993 agreement to combine their independent space stations, has a target date of October 31, 2031, set by NASA.

The largest building ever constructed in space is the International Space Station. since of its size, NASA scientists must plan long in advance for its de-orbit since it poses a threat to Earth. Officials must get ready for the remaining debris to arrive, which they hope would land in the southern Pacific Ocean, since scientists predicted that not all of the International Space Station will burn up once it entered Earth’s atmosphere.

According to NASA administrator Bill Nelson, “it’s as big as a football stadium. We need to be able to very precisely put them in the graveyard in the southern Pacific Ocean.” The ISS will not be there by 2031; it will only be in orbit until 2030. In addition, NASA stated that it cannot depend on Russia to assist with its de-orbit.

“This far in advance, 5 or 6 years in advance, we are developing the de-orbit vehicle. You never can tell with the things that President Putin is up to. What is going to be our relationship? Could we continue to rely on our partners on the space station to help get it down? So we’re not taking any chances,” said Nelson. 

Voyager Space’s President of International and Space Stations, Jeffrey Manber, stated that NASA has formed new alliances with commercial firms in the US and other allies.

“There are limitations to being on a space station that’s operated by multiple governments,” Manber stated. “When you’re commercial, you don’t have to be political like we had to be in inviting the Russians in 30 years ago.” 

In collaboration with its foreign allies, Voyager intends to send Starlab into a lower orbit. According to Fox News, it will be an international base with businesses from all over the world.

“We have the Europeans being represented by Airbus, the Japanese are represented by Mitsubishi Corporation. We’ve just announced that MDA of Canada does the robotic arm,” Manber said. “And of course, we have the support of NASA. So, it’s very exciting the way we’ve put this together to be truly international.”

Additionally, NASA thinks that switching to private collaborations will improve national security. The Chinese space station is the only other building that accommodates humans in orbit. Because the CCP military controls China’s space program, the US blocked China’s entry into the ISS.