NASA announced in a press release that once the International Space Station concludes its three decades of service at the end of 2030, it will head off to greener pastures by crashing into an area known as Point Nemo in the Pacific Ocean.
The Biden Administration committed late last year to extend ISS operations through 2030 before paving the way for the private sector to enter. It’s a move that has not only received the support of NASA and Congress has already been given a report from the agency detailing a plan on how to successfully and smoothly transition to commercial destinations.
“The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with NASA’s assistance,” Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters, said. “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.”
Until then, the ISS intends on checking off a few more boxes, which appears to be centered around diversity and inclusion. In addition to “advancing the technologies and procedures that will be necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon and the first humans to Mars,” there’s a focus on cultivating a young, diverse group of students who want to pursue a career in space exploration.
According to USA TODAY, the ISS has orbited Earth over 100,000 times since it was first launched in Nov. 1998.