Thousands of kilometres from anywhere lies Point Nemo, a watery grave where space stations go to die

The space cemetery is located at 4km below the sea and is the farthest point from any landmass.
After their outer space missions are over, the old satellites, rocket parts, and space stations are returned to the Pacific Ocean for a resting place on the seabed.

This stretch of water, which is approximately 2,700km from any other land, has the technical name of the ocean point inaccessibility. It is also known as the Space Cemetery, or Point Nemo after the fictional submarine captain from Jules Vernes' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The International Space Station, a laboratory of Earth-sized size, is most likely to end its life here. This week, reports surfaced that the ISS is showing cracks. While the fissures might not signal its imminent demise it is certain to be in its twilight.

Spacecraft that die are a threat to all other spacecraft. Space debris quickly clogs up space and even small flecks can cause damage to other spacecraft at orbital speeds up to 17,500km/h.

According to Nasa there are thousands upon thousands of pieces of space junk.

We are concerned that one small collision could cause a chain reaction. According to Nasa, this possibility is known as the Kessler effect.

The Kessler Effect or Kessler Syndrome is the possibility that orbital debris could reach a critical mass. Each collision will create more debris in a cascading fashion, until the orbit becomes unusable.

According to Nasa, to prevent such a catastrophe, anyone who launches something into orbit today must have a plan.

Satellites at very high altitudes can be launched further into space without danger, and with their last fuel, the final orbit. You can remove satellites closer to the Earth from orbit. The smaller satellites will explode upon re-entry. Unplanned launches can cause satellites to crash to Earth, such as China's Long March 5B rocket or Skylab space station which crashed into Western Australia. It is better to have the debris carefully guided so that it doesn't crash into any inhabited areas.

A watery grave

The European Space Agency explained that modeling is used to determine the point at which a craft hits the upper atmosphere. This is done at a calculated angle so debris falls within a specific zone.

The Russian space station Mir was retired in 2001. The engines of Mir were taken out of orbit by a cargo ship that docked at the craft. While parts of the craft were destroyed by re-entry, up to 25 tonnes survived and plummeted to Point Nemo.

Mir has been joined since then by satellites and rocket parts, as well as an automated vehicle that transported cargo to the International Space Station, the Jules Verne, which was defunct.

Spacecraft that survived the space journey and the fiery descent into the Earth's atmosphere are strong enough to withstand the crushing pressure of 4 km (one league) below.

The International Space Station will likely join them in the near future. Since 1998, the International Space Station has orbited Earth. It was created by several European countries, including Russia, Canada, Japan, the USA, Japan, and Canada. Since 2000, astronauts have been able to call it home.

It was initially expected that it would last 15 years. It is now authorized to continue operating until at least 2024. However, the ISS is beginning to show its age.

Angela Hart, a Nasa spokesperson, stated that while the agency is still active in science and research, the ISS will eventually end its life. This was just a little over a week ago.

Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian official, stated this week that most of Russia's in-flight systems had reached their expiry dates. This could cause irreparable damage.

BBC reported on a variety of other issues, including malfunctions and air leaks.

There will be worries

Alice Gorman, a Flinders University space archaeologist, said that the ISS is doing well for its endurance, but it is getting better.

Humans have learned a lot about the de-orbiting of spacecraft. European Space Agency engineers observed supply module de-orbiting and then re-entering and have accumulated data on how to control reentry.

She says that everyone involved would admit that it will end at some point. It has been planned.

Gorman says that one of the problems with the ISS is its many parts. There are several modules that house the astronauts, as well as others that serve as laboratories. The outside has solar arrays and robotic arms. It is about the size of an American football field. There are bathrooms, a gym, and a bay window.

Gorman states that if they have to separate modules from one another, it is likely to produce some debris. The whole process will be watched by the public. These days, there is a greater awareness of the dangers of leaving things in orbit.

It will begin to disintegrate as it enters the atmosphere. Point Nemo is an excellent place because the debris footprint can stretch for kilometres.

There will always be worries. But what if it goes wrong? What happens if they can't predict it?

Long March 5B's out-of-control descent was met with fears. Not only were there concerns about it hitting anyone, but also that toxic propellants might still be aboard.

Gorman believes that this could be true even with controlled descent. However, all volatile fuels will have vanished by the time the rocket roars in through the atmosphere. Safe materials like stainless steel, titanium alloys, and ceramics will survive to settle in space cemetery.

She paints a serene ending to this chaotic journey from outer space into the deep blue ocean.

She says, "We send it down to bottom of ocean." It becomes a habitat, a coral Reef, just like the shipwrecks all over the globe. It's a whole new way of life.