International Space Station (ISS)

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    • Recently, NASA announced that the International Space Station (ISS) will cease operations in 2031, after which it will fall out of orbit and plunge into the waters of the South Pacific Ocean.

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    • It will descent into the “South Pacific Oceanic Uninhabited Area (SPOUA),” in an area known as Point Nemo.
      • Point Nemo has grown to become a sort of space cemetery, where decommissioned space debris is often brought to rest. 
      • Located about 2,700 km away from any land, it is named after a character in Jules Verne’s novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
    • NASA informed that the operations of the ISS will be transitioned to a low-Earth orbit destination. The space station in microgravity is entering its third and most productive decade.

     International Space Station (ISS)

    • It is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in Low Earth Orbit (approximately 250 miles above Earth).
    • It was the brainchild of former US President Ronald Reagan, who in 1984 proposed building a permanently inhabited spacecraft in cooperation with a few other countries.
    • The first piece of the International Space Station has launched in 1998 into space onboard a Russian rocket.
      • NASA and its partners around the world finished the space station in 2011.
    • The ISS is one of the most ambitious international collaborations in human history.
    • Nations involved: The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
    • The ownership and use of the space station are established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.
    • The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations.
    • Landmarks: 
      • Several landmark firsts were recorded onboard the ISS in the last two decades.
        •  For instance, in 2018, NASA’s Cold Atom Lab became the first facility to produce the fifth state of matter, called a Bose-Einstein condensate, in space
        • In 2016, a NASA astronaut was able to sequence DNA in space for the first time
        • Advanced water filtration and purification systems, as well as successful attempts at crop production onboard the space station, have also offered useful lessons for people around the world who lack access to these crucial resources

    Significance of Space Stations

    • They are useful for collecting meaningful scientific data, especially for biological experiments.
    • They help in doing a lot of scientific studies on the various aspects of space.
    • Space stations are used to study the effects of long-term space flight on the human body.

    Source: IE