Believe it or not, the current plan for the International Space Station is to abandon it in 2015 and let it crash into the atmosphere in 2016. Sad, right? But the ESA wants to keep it flying for a few more years to allow more scientist access to the zero-gravity labs.
Of course it’s just not one space agency’s call. The project has five partners, the US, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada, and each will have a say later this at a meeting in Japan. But I think we can all agree that it’s a damn big waste if the ISS is simply abandoned because the world is spending its money on research for seedless watermelons or developing more weapons to kill each other.