World War Z Edit
During World War Z, many last-ditch survival radio stations such as "Radio Free Earth" helped save millions of lives, or at least tried to. The efforts of these men and women would not have been possible without The ISS, which helped keep essential and possibly some of the more casual satellites up in orbit for continued human use.
In the beginning of the war, the ISS crew was divided into two groups - those who would go back to Earth and those who would stay. It was a hard decision, but, there simply was not enough time and space to send all the crew back to Earth. The remaining three stayed up there and "listened to the same old records, read books, and repaired satellites." They said they had only a few more years with the supplies they had. Eventually, they were able to come into contact with the Chinese Space Station, which was divided between the Rebels and Loyalists. They arrive to find one of them dead and the escape pod jettisoned. Presuming he was the Rebel, they say their respects, and scavenged needed parts.
The scavenged supplies allowed them to survive for several more years, until a rescue mission by a private company from the United States was able to reach them. However, they had spend too many years in space, and particularly, had knowingly made far too many EVA repair missions outside the station in space suits which did not adequately shield them from cosmic radiation. All three suffered from severe bone degradation and cancer once they returned to Earth. The last of the three managed to live until ten years after the end of the war, long enough to give an interview to the author of World War Z, before succumbing to his illnesses days later. He stated that all three astronauts knew the sacrifice they were making and that it would eventually kill them, but that they were willing to pay that price in order to save countless lives by keeping the satellite network operational in order to assist Earth-bound militaries.