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Looking, at some of the press, you'd never have thought that the Mir space station ever existed. "Now mankind has a permanent outpost in space," they blurt. All hail the International Space Station (ISS), at least until the budget gets cut. Us cynics remember all too well the one-small-step-for-a-man thing that resulted in the moon being abandoned for over 25 years, and that Mir - still the pride of the Russian people, lies emptily languishing in space for want of funding that is miniscule in comparison to just one space shuttle launch. It looks likely that as of next February, it'll be no more. Unless they change their mind again.