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PRESS RELEASE #J04-058
 
 
December 21, 2004

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-4769



Release: #J04-058

SPACE STATION TO BE VISIBLE OVER MOST OF U.S. DURING HOLIDAYS

Santa will have company in the sky over most of the United States this holiday season. The International Space Station will be visible in the early mornings, flying by at five miles a second. Information on how, when and where to see it each day is available on the Internet at:

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/isssightings

The 200-ton plus Station, which is more than 170 feet long and 240 feet wide, will be visible from most continental U.S. cities, as well as Juneau, Alaska, on various days between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. The Station's crew, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, will celebrate the holidays aboard the orbiting research complex this year.

Space Station sighting opportunities are available on the Internet with up to date information for all U.S. cities on where, when and how to look. All of the sightings available from U.S. cities during the holidays are pre-dawn sightings. The Station is not expected to be visible in the evenings.

Chiao and Sharipov will get a special delivery on Dec. 25 as a Russian cargo spacecraft docks with the Station, bringing 5,000 pounds of supplies, including food, water, fuel, spare equipment and Christmas presents from home. For those areas with opportunities to view the Station on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day mornings, the Progress cargo spacecraft also may be visible as it closes in on the Station. The Progress is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station about 7:05 p.m. EST. The docking will be carried live on NASA Television.

Holiday greetings from the Station crew, video of Mission Control's season's greetings and footage of Mission Control tracking Santa Claus also are airing daily on NASA TV.

NASA TV is available via satellite in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, at 137 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.

For information about NASA TV and to view it on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Chiao and Sharipov are a third of the way through a six-month stay conducting research aboard the complex. Research aboard the Station helps people learn how to live and work for long periods in space. That information is a crucial step in realizing the Vision for Space Exploration that in the years ahead will return humans to the moon and see them journey to Mars and beyond.

For more information about the Expedition 10 crew, visit:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

For more information on NASA and its other programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

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