NASA To Retire International Space Station And Crash It Into Pacific Ocean In 2031

In less than 10 years, the International Space Station—the site of many an interstellar marvel—will become a relic in Earthling’s minds, vanishing like it never existed. NASA plans to decommission the orbital outpost at the end of 2030 and actualize the ISS’s retirement by crashing it into the Pacific Ocean in January 2031.

The space station, which made its maiden launch in 1998 and was first occupied by humans in 2000, is destined to make its descent home alone—with no humans on board—before sharply plunging into a very remote area often dubbed the “spacecraft cemetery,” reports Gizmodo.

Point Nemo, as the crash zone is called, is 1,670 miles away from the closest inhabited area.

Although a 2030 date is expected, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, warns the news outlet that this deadline could arrive earlier, since NASA hasn’t disclosed if partnering space forces, like the one in Russia, would agree to back the ISS through 2030.

Be that as it may, with the outpost’s retirement, NASA will hand over the keys of space exploration efforts to a private sector, whose activities will continue to be supported by the space agency.

“The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with NASA’s assistance,” explains Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters. Combined with the resources of private entities, NASA will continue “sharing our lessons learned and operations experience… to help them develop safe, reliable, and cost-effective destinations in space.”

The ISS was, in actual fact, scheduled to retire in 2024, but the Biden-Harris administration quietly prolonged its operations to last through 2030. It is believed that this will be the last extension.

As it approaches its last legs, the ISS is reported by NASA to be “busier than ever” and entering its “most productive decade,” as well as paving way for more diversity in space exploration roles.

“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, and researchers,” notes the space agency. “It is thus crucial to our nation and NASA’s efforts to maintain the interest and curiosity of today’s students so they continue to be inspired by and participate in the wide scope of space exploration roles.”

Source: DesignTAXI

COVID-19 Cases Recorded In Antarctica For First Time – Isolated Continent Reportedly Registers First Infections After 36 Chileans Fall Ill At Research Base

Antarctica, once the only continent not to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, has reportedly recorded its first cases. The 36 new infections are among people stationed at a Chilean research base and include 26 members of the Chilean army and 10 maintenance workers.

Spanish-language media reported the outbreak at the General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme research base on Monday.

In a statement, the Chilean army said: “Thanks to the timely preventive action … it was possible to relieve said personnel, who, after being subjected to a medical control and the administration of a PCR test … turned out to be positive for Covid-19,” according to Newsweek. It reported that three crew members on a ship providing support to the base have also tested positive since returning from their mission to Antarctica.

The 36 individuals who tested positive have since been evacuated to the city of Punta Arenas in Chile, where they are reported to be under isolation and in good condition.

General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme is one of 13 Chilean bases on the island, the ABC reports.

Trying to keep the virus at bay in Antarctica has come at a cost. All major research projects in the Antarctic have been halted. As a result, research by scientists around the world has been interrupted.

While the continent has no permanent residents, it 1,000 researchers and other visitors stayed on the island over winter, according to the Associated Press.

In March, as the world locked down in response to Covid’s rapid spread, the Antarctic programs agreed the pandemic could become a major disaster. With the world’s strongest winds and coldest temperatures, the continent roughly the size of the United States and Mexico is already dangerous for workers at its 40 year-round bases.

Source: The Guardian

Fleetwood Mac Streams Rising After TikTok User 420Doggface208 Goes Viral With Blissful Video Skating and Sipping Juice to 1977 Song “Dreams”

Fleetwood Mac‘s 1977 track ‘Dreams’ has experienced a big surge in sales and streams in the past week after it was used in a viral TikTok clip.

The ‘Rumours’ song soundtracks a clip that was uploaded by TikTok user 420doggface208 (real name Nathan Apodaca) last week, where he can be seen longboarding down a road while drinking Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Juice.

The clip’s popularity on TikTok and other social media platforms has seen streams and sales of ‘Dreams’ soar in the past few days. Before the video was uploaded, ‘Dreams’ was clocking up an average of 49,000 streams a day — but in the three days after the clip landed on TikTok, those streams rocketed to an average of 105,000 times a day (via Rolling Stone).

Sales of the song are up by 184% since last Saturday (September 26), while Spotify say that streams of ‘Dreams’ on their platform have increased by 127% with a 242% increase in first-time listeners of the song. Apple reported a spike of 221% in ‘Dreams’ streams, while there has also been a 1,137% increase in Shazam requests for the song.

Fleetwood Mac reposted Apodaca’s video on their Twitter account last weekend, writing: “We love this!”

Source: NME