What the ISS May Look Like When it Falls to Earth 2031 [Watch]
I've always been fascinated by the wonders of space since I was very young as most kids are today. When I heard last week the ISS International Space Station is going to be decommissioned in 2030 and come tumbling back to earth in January 2031 I was a bit saddened, to say the least.
After all, the ISS has been orbiting our planet some 250 miles in space for a big chunk of my lifetime. I watched it fly over Texarkana on its varied flight path as a tiny bright light in the night sky and now that light is going to be extinguished forever. As the old saying goes, "Nothing lasts forever."
The ISS which spans 356 feet about the size of a football field will begin its descent toward earth in January 2031 and plunge into the depths of one of the most isolated regions of the Southern Pacific Ocean known as Point Nemo, according to NASA reports. Basically, this is where space junk goes to die including the Russian space station Mir years ago.
The International Space Station along with the space lab will continue to operate safely with a few fixable upgrades along the way. according to the Washington Post.
"NASA said that commercially operated space platforms would replace the ISS as a venue for collaboration and scientific research"
Watch this video of an animated simulation of what the ISS will likely look like as it enters the earth's atmosphere and starts to break up. Notice the timeline says, 2032 but it will come down in 2031.
So, when the International Space Station goes down so will its history but until then, more sunrises, sunsets, and 16 orbits around the earth in 24 hours for the crew on board.
While this will mark the end of an era it's only the beginning of more space exploration into the future.
Meanwhile, I'll keep watching for the tiny light in the sky until it's gone for good.
Here's how to track the ISS when it flies over Texarkana. Beam me up, Scotty!
This is some incredible real-time time-lapse video footage of earth from the ISS.