The International Space Station is both the pinnacle of human achievement (besides internet porn and America) and its greatest failure ever.
A wet nerd dream brought to life, the ISS began as a cooperative effort between President George "Not W." Bush and Russian President Boris "Smirnoff" Yeltsin in 1992, under the long-winded Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes or A.B.T.U.S.O.A.A.T.R.F.C.C.I.T.E.A.U.O.O.S.F.P.P. for short. Since both countries had the same idea during the Cold War but were experiencing difficult times, what with the recession in America and the total collapse of government and rising kleptocracy in Russia, these mismatched opposite countries became the Bosom Buddies of space exploration.
Mandatory cross-dressing not pictured.
After George The First was defeated by Democracy, Vice President Al Gore took up the idea and sold us out like the pinko he is and promised to actually help Russia with their own commie dream of MIR (read: Mandatory Indoctrination Required). This would let the totally-awesome-but-murderous Space Shuttle to dock with their Marxist Illyich Red - er - MIR station while building the ISS. This was supposedly a mutual agreement between two countries to put aside their differences in the name of peace and science.
You'd like us to think that wouldn't you, comrade?
The first segment of the ISS was launched in November 1998 on a Russian rocket, presumably fueled by the blood of the proletariat's enemy. Other segments - or node modules, as geeks would refer to them - followed over time, until July 2000, when the first inhabitants of the station arrived. As accordance to the deal with the devil Cossack Gore made, the first crew was made up mostly of filthy Russians (and one dude from the US). Presumably brought along to make sure those sneaky Ruskies weren't planning on distributing commie pamphlets across Earth (more on that later), Commander William Shepard and co.(mmie) hosted three shuttle crews and in general were total class acts whilst aboard the orbiting titan that was mankind's genius brought to fruition.
Later, a bunch of other shit happened that should seem cool but is kind of not. This includes many scientific experiments like the effects of space or time or gravity or something else on: bone loss, fluid shift, space colonisation, superconductivity, ozone, oxides, cosmic rays and dark matter.
The shocking lack of zero-gravity knife fights, camp pranks and boning on the ISS since its inception could only raise the inevitable question: what the hell do we have this $100 billion dollar RV floating around for, anyway?
With the outlay of billions of dollars, decades of work, the risk of dozens of lives and possible orbital failure that would send this million-ton Frankenstein of technology hurtling towards earth at any moment, why would there even be such a thing as the ISS?
Fortunately, after a helpful team of scientists and philosophers were locked in a basement in the dark for an inhumanely long time, getting angrier and more fucking lunatic towards things - mostly each other and the incessant dark - here are some answers:
Recreating MST3K In Real Lifey
Seriously, isn't the Satellite Of Love just a mock-up of what the ISS would be? The show was uncerimoniously cancelled by two different networks (Comedy Central and Sci-Fi (or syfy if you hate yourself)), even though it was beloved by both nerds and geeks everywhere.
The proposed original crew of the ISS.
Wait a second. Nerds? Geeks? Why, that sounds like the kind of people that would work for NASA! Another piece to the puzzle solved.
Filthy Commie Propoganda Machine
Let's face it: if the commies had their way, you would be marching down Main Street, USA to the tune of "Gimn Sovetskogo Soyuza" holding a copy of Quotations from Chairman Mao while thinking about turning in your neighbor who sells goods for his own profit.
Which is why those red bastards were so intent on building their own station. Sad but not-libally true, those borscht slurping socialist fucks planned to fan the flames of anti-capitalism by throwing millions of pamphlets of G-d forsaken political idiology over prime continents while floating over them in low orbit, in an effort to enslave the masses into totalitarianism. Sources - mostly the gin-blossomed drunks that hang out at the local Elks lodge - suspect they would have distributed them by full-time bombardiers. Fortunately, the US was preparing for this event all along.
Getaway Vehicle For The Super-Rich
There's no denying it any longer: we are not meant for this world. The meek shall inherit the earth, but those who have the mega-bucks are not meek by any standard.
Like this guy. Meek, Or Chic? (hint: bling)
So one could presume that hundred billion bills was destined to save the incredibly well-to-do from the inevitable downfall of mankind. Which means the future of our species in space will be a Hilton-Bush-Kardashian hybrid named Gorlok, who will wield a mighty fist of justice on the badlands of the moon.
King Gorlok Kardashiltbushon The Third
To Piss Off God
Now, humans are known for many things: porking, slamming, grinding, boffing, ramming, screwing, and the incandescent light bulb. But for all of our accomplishments and deviences, there are few that truly piss God off. Try as we may - through genocide or torture or employing the natural sympathies and affections of deep family relationships to sell cheap goods made by slaves - we seem to lack the ability to get the attention of Yahweh. I mean, what the fuck more can mankind do to get our distant daddy's attention?
"Hey dad, look what I built!"
"Not now, dammit, I'm busy!"
Perhaps he's busy with model airplane construction, keeping particles together, or is caught up in the fourth season of Ally McBeal (it takes a while for mainstream culture to reach him, being up in space heaven and all). Whatever His excuse is, we have decided to create an abomination of all that is holy to catch his fickle eye.
Instead of enjoying the lush habitable atmosphere He created on terra fima, we have decided to defy His wishes and explore the vast uninhabitable space that He (or She, for you PC thugs) has created outside our little snow globe of a planet we call home.
Fuck you, God!
Look, how much more simple can He/She/It make things? You were born here, you live here, and you die here. Why do you think space is such a harsh environment that nothing - including us - can survive in it? Because Allah said no, that's why. If It/They/Tractor wanted us to live outside our bubble, Tractor would have let it be so by making it just as comfy as Earth. Tractor would have even thrown a few love seats and a case of beer to entice us to move in.
Our Lord and Savior.
Here's the point we've been trying to dance around, but is inevitable: we want to fuck in space.
That's what I'm talking about!
So in all likelihood the real reason the hundred billion dollar space station was built was so we could wang the chung in zero gravity. However, it's for completely anthropological reasons.
You see, the only reason any man does anything is to have sex with women (unless they're gay, in which case it's to slam dudes). It's not only a fact, it's a solid and evil truth of life that either you accept or else join a commune that believes in stupid mother nature and sharing and something called love - an arrangement in which surprisingly gets nobody laid, ever. You join this kind of shit thinking there's kinky sex free-for-alls, and instead it's all about planting rutabagas and listening to some smelly hippy talk about Mother Earth instead of about cramming your tofu into someone's falafal.*
Fucking in a zero-gravity environment is the only feasible explanation to the gargantuan expenditure of resources and time that was dedicated to it. Which is why we send astronauts, as they are usually sterile from birth and cannot procreate otherwise unless suspended hundreds of miles above the earth's surface and enclosed in a capsule that would make a walk-up in the middle of Manhattan look like fucking Versailles - literally, like someone madly fucking away on the entire structure.
Like this, except more fucking involved.