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NASA plans to retire International Space Station by plunging it into the Pacific Ocean in 2031

The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS
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NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, an Expedition 36 flight engineer, uses a 400mm lens on a digital still camera to photograph a target of opportunity on Earth some 250 miles below him in this NASA image released on June 10, 2013.  NASA/Handout via Reuters

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, an Expedition 36 flight engineer, uses a 400mm lens on a digital still camera to photograph a target of opportunity on Earth some 250 miles below him in this NASA image released on June 10, 2013.  NASA/Handout via...more

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, an Expedition 36 flight engineer, uses a 400mm lens on a digital still camera to photograph a target of opportunity on Earth some 250 miles below him in this NASA image released on June 10, 2013.  NASA/Handout via Reuters
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NASA astronaut Stephen K. Robinson is anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station's Canadarm2, built by Canadian technology company MDA, during his Space Shuttle mission's third session of extravehicular activity (EVA) August 3, 2005.   NASA/Handout via REUTERS

NASA astronaut Stephen K. Robinson is anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station's Canadarm2, built by Canadian technology company MDA, during his Space Shuttle mission's third session of extravehicular activity (EVA) August 3,...more

NASA astronaut Stephen K. Robinson is anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station's Canadarm2, built by Canadian technology company MDA, during his Space Shuttle mission's third session of extravehicular activity (EVA) August 3, 2005.   NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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Backdropped by a night view of the Earth and starry sky, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is seen docked to the International Space Station May 28, 2011. NASA/Handout via Reuters

Backdropped by a night view of the Earth and starry sky, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is seen docked to the International Space Station May 28, 2011. NASA/Handout via Reuters

Backdropped by a night view of the Earth and starry sky, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is seen docked to the International Space Station May 28, 2011. NASA/Handout via Reuters
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Trailing lights from stars in space and from sources on Earth are seen in this composite time-lapse image taken during orbit over Namibia to the Red Sea aboard the International Space Station, July 5, 2019.  Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

Trailing lights from stars in space and from sources on Earth are seen in this composite time-lapse image taken during orbit over Namibia to the Red Sea aboard the International Space Station, July 5, 2019. Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

Trailing lights from stars in space and from sources on Earth are seen in this composite time-lapse image taken during orbit over Namibia to the Red Sea aboard the International Space Station, July 5, 2019. Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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A photo taken by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station shows an Aurora over northern Canada, taken from a point just north of Vancouver, January 20, 2016. 

REUTERS/NASA/Tim Peake

A photo taken by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station shows an Aurora over northern Canada, taken from a point just north of Vancouver, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/NASA/Tim Peake

A photo taken by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station shows an Aurora over northern Canada, taken from a point just north of Vancouver, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/NASA/Tim Peake
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A composite image made from nine frames shows the International Space Station in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second, as seen from Suffolk, Virginia, October 7, 2018. NASA/Joel Kowsky/Handout via REUTERS

A composite image made from nine frames shows the International Space Station in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second, as seen from Suffolk, Virginia, October 7, 2018. NASA/Joel Kowsky/Handout via REUTERS

A composite image made from nine frames shows the International Space Station in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second, as seen from Suffolk, Virginia, October 7, 2018. NASA/Joel Kowsky/Handout via REUTERS
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NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, outside the International Space Station, September 5, 2012. 


REUTERS/NASA

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, outside the International Space Station, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/NASA

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, outside the International Space Station, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/NASA
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The space shuttle Endeavour silhouetted against the backdrop of Earth's horizon prior to docking with the International Space Station, February 9, 2010. 

     

REUTERS/NASA

The space shuttle Endeavour silhouetted against the backdrop of Earth's horizon prior to docking with the International Space Station, February 9, 2010. REUTERS/NASA

The space shuttle Endeavour silhouetted against the backdrop of Earth's horizon prior to docking with the International Space Station, February 9, 2010. REUTERS/NASA
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Astronauts conduct a spacewalk to replace a faulty antenna on the International Space Station (ISS) in a still image from video December 2, 2021.  NASA TV/Handout via REUTERS

Astronauts conduct a spacewalk to replace a faulty antenna on the International Space Station (ISS) in a still image from video December 2, 2021.  NASA TV/Handout via REUTERS

Astronauts conduct a spacewalk to replace a faulty antenna on the International Space Station (ISS) in a still image from video December 2, 2021.  NASA TV/Handout via REUTERS
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The Nauka (Science) Multipurpose Laboratory Module is seen docked to the International Space Station (ISS) July 29, 2021.  Oleg Novitskiy/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The Nauka (Science) Multipurpose Laboratory Module is seen docked to the International Space Station (ISS) July 29, 2021. Oleg Novitskiy/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The Nauka (Science) Multipurpose Laboratory Module is seen docked to the International Space Station (ISS) July 29, 2021. Oleg Novitskiy/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS
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ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet of France celebrates with NASA astronaut Megan McArthur as they and Crew 2 colleagues JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough are welcomed by Crew 1 as they arrive aboard the International Space Station, after docking SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule orbiting the earth April 24, 2021.   NASA TV via REUTERS

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet of France celebrates with NASA astronaut Megan McArthur as they and Crew 2 colleagues JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough are welcomed by Crew 1 as they arrive aboard the...more

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet of France celebrates with NASA astronaut Megan McArthur as they and Crew 2 colleagues JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough are welcomed by Crew 1 as they arrive aboard the International Space Station, after docking SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule orbiting the earth April 24, 2021.   NASA TV via REUTERS
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The comet NEOWISE streaks above Earth, in this image taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS),  July 5, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The comet NEOWISE streaks above Earth, in this image taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS),  July 5, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The comet NEOWISE streaks above Earth, in this image taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS),  July 5, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly corrals the supply of fresh fruit that arrived on the Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5), August 25, 2015. 
NASA/Handout via REUTERS

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly corrals the supply of fresh fruit that arrived on the Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5), August 25, 2015. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly corrals the supply of fresh fruit that arrived on the Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5), August 25, 2015. NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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The moon's shadow passes over China during an annular eclipse, as seen from the International Space Station (ISS), June 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS

The moon's shadow passes over China during an annular eclipse, as seen from the International Space Station (ISS), June 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS

The moon's shadow passes over China during an annular eclipse, as seen from the International Space Station (ISS), June 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS
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Space tourist Anousheh Ansari is photographed in her seat on board the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft while enroute to the International Space Station, September 18, 2006. 



REUTERS/NASA

Space tourist Anousheh Ansari is photographed in her seat on board the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft while enroute to the International Space Station, September 18, 2006. REUTERS/NASA

Space tourist Anousheh Ansari is photographed in her seat on board the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft while enroute to the International Space Station, September 18, 2006. REUTERS/NASA
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Hurricane Genevieve is seen from the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth in an image taken by NASA astronaut Christopher J. Cassidy August 19, 2020.  NASA/Christopher J. Cassidy/Handout via REUTERS

Hurricane Genevieve is seen from the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth in an image taken by NASA astronaut Christopher J. Cassidy August 19, 2020.  NASA/Christopher J. Cassidy/Handout via REUTERS

Hurricane Genevieve is seen from the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth in an image taken by NASA astronaut Christopher J. Cassidy August 19, 2020.  NASA/Christopher J. Cassidy/Handout via REUTERS
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Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, Expedition 34 flight engineer, watches a water bubble float freely between him and the camera, showing his image refracted, in the Unity node of the International Space Station, in this handout photo courtesy of NASA, taken January 21, 2013. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, Expedition 34 flight engineer, watches a water bubble float freely between him and the camera, showing his image refracted, in the Unity node of the International Space Station, in this handout photo...more

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, Expedition 34 flight engineer, watches a water bubble float freely between him and the camera, showing his image refracted, in the Unity node of the International Space Station, in this handout photo courtesy of NASA, taken January 21, 2013. NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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A NASA satellite image, taken by one of the Expedition 25 crew members on the International Space Station, shows the lights of Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile River, Egypt October 28, 2010. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

A NASA satellite image, taken by one of the Expedition 25 crew members on the International Space Station, shows the lights of Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile River, Egypt October 28, 2010. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

A NASA satellite image, taken by one of the Expedition 25 crew members on the International Space Station, shows the lights of Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile River, Egypt October 28, 2010. NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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An aurora in the Earth's atmosphere is seen from the International Space Station, in this image published June 10, 2019. Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

An aurora in the Earth's atmosphere is seen from the International Space Station, in this image published June 10, 2019. Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

An aurora in the Earth's atmosphere is seen from the International Space Station, in this image published June 10, 2019. Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018.  NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS
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A crescent moon rises over the cusp of the Earth's atmosphere in this picture by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata onboard the International Space Station taken February 1, 2014.  NASA/Handout via REUTERS

A crescent moon rises over the cusp of the Earth's atmosphere in this picture by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata onboard the International Space Station taken February 1, 2014.  NASA/Handout via REUTERS

A crescent moon rises over the cusp of the Earth's atmosphere in this picture by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata onboard the International Space Station taken February 1, 2014.  NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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A photo taken by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on January 30, 2014 of the night view of the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea in the middle is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea (bottom right) and China (top left).  NASA-JSC/Handout via REUTERS

A photo taken by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on January 30, 2014 of the night view of the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea in the middle is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea (bottom...more

A photo taken by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on January 30, 2014 of the night view of the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea in the middle is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea (bottom right) and China (top left). NASA-JSC/Handout via REUTERS
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Astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, is shown in this handout photo provided by NASA as he participates in the second of two spacewalks which took place on December 24, 2013. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, whose image shows up in Hopkins' helmet visor. NASA/Handout via Reuters

Astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, is shown in this handout photo provided by NASA as he participates in the second of two spacewalks which took place on December 24, 2013. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Rick...more

Astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, is shown in this handout photo provided by NASA as he participates in the second of two spacewalks which took place on December 24, 2013. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, whose image shows up in Hopkins' helmet visor. NASA/Handout via Reuters
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A sunrise photograph taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station as he prepared to depart the space station and return to Earth, March 1, 2016. 


 REUTERS/NASA/Scott Kelly

A sunrise photograph taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station as he prepared to depart the space station and return to Earth, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/NASA/Scott Kelly

A sunrise photograph taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station as he prepared to depart the space station and return to Earth, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/NASA/Scott Kelly
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The Cygnus cargo ship nears the robotic arm at the International Space Station, March 26, 2016. 


 REUTERS/NASA

The Cygnus cargo ship nears the robotic arm at the International Space Station, March 26, 2016. REUTERS/NASA

The Cygnus cargo ship nears the robotic arm at the International Space Station, March 26, 2016. REUTERS/NASA
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The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft, October 4, 2018. 


NASA/Roscosmos

The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos

The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos
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A winter storm affecting the U.S. East Coast is seen from the International Space Station, January 23, 2016. 



REUTERS/NASA

A winter storm affecting the U.S. East Coast is seen from the International Space Station, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/NASA

A winter storm affecting the U.S. East Coast is seen from the International Space Station, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/NASA
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The space shuttle Discovery after it undocked from the International Space Station, more than 200 miles above Earth, March 9, 2011. 


REUTERS/NASA

The space shuttle Discovery after it undocked from the International Space Station, more than 200 miles above Earth, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/NASA

The space shuttle Discovery after it undocked from the International Space Station, more than 200 miles above Earth, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/NASA
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A large lightning strike on Earth lights up solar panels on the International Space Station in a photograph taken by astronaut Kjell Lindgren, September 2, 2015. 


REUTERS/NASA/Kjell Lindgren

A large lightning strike on Earth lights up solar panels on the International Space Station in a photograph taken by astronaut Kjell Lindgren, September 2, 2015. REUTERS/NASA/Kjell Lindgren

A large lightning strike on Earth lights up solar panels on the International Space Station in a photograph taken by astronaut Kjell Lindgren, September 2, 2015. REUTERS/NASA/Kjell Lindgren
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Astronaut Dave Wolf during a spacewalk aboard the International Space Station's robot arm, July 20, 2009. 


REUTERS/NASA

Astronaut Dave Wolf during a spacewalk aboard the International Space Station's robot arm, July 20, 2009. REUTERS/NASA

Astronaut Dave Wolf during a spacewalk aboard the International Space Station's robot arm, July 20, 2009. REUTERS/NASA
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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly inside the cupola of the International Space Station, March 11, 2016. 


REUTERS/NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly inside the cupola of the International Space Station, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly inside the cupola of the International Space Station, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/NASA
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Russia's Lake Baikal in a photo taken by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, February 26, 2013. 

REUTERS/Chris Hadfield/NASA

Russia's Lake Baikal in a photo taken by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Hadfield/NASA

Russia's Lake Baikal in a photo taken by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Hadfield/NASA
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Astronaut Robert L. Satcher Jr. works outside the International Space Station, November 19, 2009. 

REUTERS/NASA

Astronaut Robert L. Satcher Jr. works outside the International Space Station, November 19, 2009. REUTERS/NASA

Astronaut Robert L. Satcher Jr. works outside the International Space Station, November 19, 2009. REUTERS/NASA
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A Russian cosmonaut works during a mission in open space outside the International Space Station, August 20, 2012. 


REUTERS/Roscosmos

A Russian cosmonaut works during a mission in open space outside the International Space Station, August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Roscosmos

A Russian cosmonaut works during a mission in open space outside the International Space Station, August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Roscosmos
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A Soyuz spacecraft docked with the International Space Station, July 25, 2009. 


REUTERS/NASA

A Soyuz spacecraft docked with the International Space Station, July 25, 2009. REUTERS/NASA

A Soyuz spacecraft docked with the International Space Station, July 25, 2009. REUTERS/NASA
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A view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights shows the shuttle on its way home as photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station, July 21, 2011. 


REUTERS/NASA

A view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights shows the shuttle on its way home as photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station, July 21, 2011. REUTERS/NASA

A view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights shows the shuttle on its way home as photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station, July 21, 2011. REUTERS/NASA
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NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff uses a laptop computer on the aft flight deck of space shuttle Endeavour during rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station, May 18, 2011. 


REUTERS/NASA

NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff uses a laptop computer on the aft flight deck of space shuttle Endeavour during rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station, May 18, 2011. REUTERS/NASA

NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff uses a laptop computer on the aft flight deck of space shuttle Endeavour during rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station, May 18, 2011. REUTERS/NASA
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The moon rises in a photograph taken in low Earth orbit by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, August 3, 2017. 
  
REUTERS/NASA

The moon rises in a photograph taken in low Earth orbit by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, August 3, 2017. REUTERS/NASA

The moon rises in a photograph taken in low Earth orbit by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, August 3, 2017. REUTERS/NASA
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The International Space Station, with a crew of seven aboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second as seen from Nottingham, Maryland, U.S. April 23, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS

The International Space Station, with a crew of seven aboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second as seen from Nottingham, Maryland, U.S. April 23, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS

The International Space Station, with a crew of seven aboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second as seen from Nottingham, Maryland, U.S. April 23, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS
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