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Point Nemo: A Spacecraft Cemetery That’s Two Miles Under the Pacific Ocean
Jan 6, 2021
Named after Jules Verne’s sea-going Captain and less catchily known as the Oceanic Point of Inaccessibility – is way out in the Pacific. 1,400 miles from a shoreline, it’s accepted many a dramatic splashdown from the world’s space agencies.
Buried under more than two miles of water is the Soviet-era MIR space station, more than 140 Russian resupply vehicles, several of the European Space Agency’s cargo ships and even a SpaceX rocket, according to Smithsonian.com.
When Russia’s iconic and enormous Mir station hit the water in 2001, the “Spacecraft Cemetery” became its final resting place. The star-going write off didn’t exactly land gracefully. For starters, ultra hot temperatures on re-entry tend to eat through even the toughest materials.
Smithsonian Magazine notes “while the original craft weighed 143 tons, only around 20 tons made it to the Pacific.” According to Gizmodo, writing in 2015, what’s left split into approx 6 pieces.