I remember when they shut down the Apollo program to do this thing it was suppose to be a permanent hopping off point in space to get us out to the other planets and beyond. They never told us it was just going to go around circles just outside the atmosphere and let astronauts perform little science fair experiments and do little else. Basically, I believe now the space station and the space shuttle were just welfare programs for aerospace companies. Now NASA wants to crash it back to earth and loose everything. I don't blame Russia and the other countries wanting to detach their modules and taking them to play elsewhere. If NASA really wants to salvage the space station project, they need to push it to a higher, more useful orbit, and start building some real interplanetary manned (and unmanned) spaceships out there.