Better lay your millions on the table now and reserve your spot on the ISS now. Russia, NASA, and the rest of the ISS’ partners announced today that they are going to allow the ISS to crash into the atmosphere after it’s decommissioned in 2020. The reason? Space doesn’t need more junk.
The first ISS component launched in 1998 and has slowly grown into a large space station with 15 units. The original plan was to bring the ISS down in 2015 but the European Space Agency extended its life to 2020. But it can’t stay up there forever.
The ISS will eventually follow the path blazed by Skylab and MIR and fall to Earth. The intent is to have it crash harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean. However, as Australia will confess that, plans don’t always work out. See Skylab history.
Not all is lost in space, though. Discovery notes that Russia, like the US, are currently developing a new launch vehicle. The US retired the Space Shuttle earlier this month and Russia plans on doing the same to its Soyuz craft in 2015. Manned space exploration is seemingly still in the cards. Let’s just hope it doesn’t fall victim to politics.