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August 6, 2001

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Kyle Herring
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: H01-157

Astronaut Cabana Assumes NASA Lead Operations Role in Russia

Astronaut Robert D. Cabana has been named NASA's Director, Human Space Flight Programs, Russia, effective Aug. 8. He assumes this role at a time when the International Space Station (ISS), while still under construction, has become self-reliant, and larger and more capable than any other space station in history.

Cabana will act as Deputy to both the ISS Program Manager and the Director of the Johnson Space Center, Houston, with full authority to represent both in all matters pertaining to NASA human space flight activities in Russia.

Cabana replaces astronaut Michael A. Baker (Capt., USN) who has served as head of the Moscow operation since its inception in January 1998. At that time, the office was formed to facilitate the transition from the Phase One Shuttle-Mir program to the assembly and operation of the International Space Station.

"Mike has done an outstanding job in coordinating NASA's operational efforts in Russia and provided leadership and friendship to both the NASA team in Moscow and our Russian colleagues," said Roy Estess, Acting Director of the Johnson Space Center. "We look forward to having him back in Houston."

As Director, Human Space Flight Programs, Russia, Cabana will be NASA's lead representative to the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) and its contractors. His role is to continue oversight of all human space flight operations, logistics, and technical functions, including NASA's mission operations in Korolev and crew training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City .

"I can think of no one better suited to continue the role established by Mike Baker as the International Space Station moved from dreams to reality," said Estess. "The station has reached another milestone with the delivery of the Airlock Quest, and we are fortunate to have Bob lend his leadership and space flight expertise to the program as it continues to grow."

Currently, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield (Col., CAF) is serving as the Director of Operations, Russia, overseeing training activities for astronauts in Star City.

"Bob's leadership skills and experience provide an excellent backbone for NASA's partnership with our Russian colleagues," said Tommy Holloway, ISS Program Manager. "He has been a great asset to the program as an interface with not only our Russian colleagues, but with all the ISS International Partners, and I am confident he will continue to do so, albeit from another location."

Cabana has flown four shuttle missions, including the first assembly flight of the International Space Station, when Endeavour delivered the Unity module and joined it to the Zarya Control Module, the first component of the station launched into orbit. Unity now serves as the attachment point for both the U.S. Laboratory Destiny and the newest U.S. element the Airlock Quest, as well as a shuttle docking port. Cabana's management roles have included Chief of the Astronaut Office for three years during the Shuttle-Mir Program and most recently Manager for International Operations for the ISS Program.

Baker has flown four shuttle missions, including serving as commander of Atlantis' STS-81 mission in January 1997, the fifth docking of a shuttle to the Mir Space Station. Prior to that flight, Baker served as the NASA Director of Operations at Star City from March to October 1995.

For additional information on Cabana, Baker, Hadfield or any astronaut, visit the NASA Internet biography home page at:

For more information on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs, tour the NASA human space flight web site at:


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