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January 28, 2002

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(281) 483-5111

Release: J02-09

NOTE TO EDITORS: Next International Space Station Soyuz Taxi Crew Available to Media February 1 at Johnson Space Center

A three-person Russian Aviation and Space Agency "taxi" crew that will visit the International Space Station in April will be available to media Friday, Feb. 1, at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, as they conclude a week of training in the United States.

Media planning to attend must contact the Johnson Space Center newsroom, (281) 483-5111, by Noon CST Thursday, Jan. 31, to arrange credentials. Transportation on site at JSC will be provided and media should plan to arrive at the JSC main gate no later than 1:15 p.m. CST on Friday, Feb. 1.

The Soyuz 4 taxi crew includes Commander Yuri Gidzenko, a veteran of the station's first expedition crew who will become the first former resident to revisit the complex; Flight Engineer and European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori, flying to the station under a commercial agreement between the Italian Space Agency and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos); and Space Flight Participant Mark Shuttleworth, a South African businessman flying to the station under a private commercial agreement with Rosaviakosmos.

The crew will launch in late April from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, to deliver a fresh Soyuz spacecraft to the station for use as a lifeboat. After spending about a week aboard the outpost, they will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz spacecraft now attached to the station.
 

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