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April 14, 2003

Melissa Motichek
Headquarters, Washington
202/358-1272, -1141

Rob Navias
Johnson Space Center, Houston


NASA Presents Space Station Crew Rotation Plan

The next human journey to the International Space Station, and an unprecedented landing by U.S. astronauts in a Russian spacecraft, will be the subject of a briefing at 2 p.m. CDT on Thursday, April 17 at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. The briefing will be broadcast on NASA Television with multi-center question-and-answer capability for reporters at NASA centers.

Officials will offer a detailed preview of the upcoming launch and mission of Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer/NASA International Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu. Malenchenko and Lu are scheduled to liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 26 in a Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft. They will dock with the Space Station on April 28.

The briefing will also review the more than 22 week Expedition 6 mission, provide details about their return to Earth, and post-landing rehabilitation of Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer/Soyuz Commander Nikolai Budarin and NASA International Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit. They are scheduled to land on the steppes of Kazakhstan on May 4 in their Soyuz TMA-1 capsule, now docked at the Station. Their landing will mark the first time U.S. astronauts will leave orbit in a Soyuz vehicle. The Expedition 6 crew will undock from the Station after a six-day handover with Expedition 7 counterparts.

The participants for the April 17 briefing are:

* William Gerstenmaier, International Space Station Program Manager * Merri Sanchez, Expedition 7 Increment Manager * Melissa Gard, Expedition 6 Increment Manager * Dr. Neal Pellis, International Space Station Program Scientist * Dr. Terrance Taddeo, NASA Flight Surgeon

Prior to the start of the briefing, at 1:30 p.m. EDT, B-roll footage and graphics that are pertinent to the briefing will be fed on NASA TV.

On Friday, April 18, NASA Television will air a pre-launch news conference with Expedition 7 crewmembers Malenchenko and Lu, which will be recorded earlier in the day at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. The news conference will be broadcast at 9 a.m. EDT. Video B-roll footage of the Expedition 7 crew's prelaunch activities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome will be seen on the NASA TV Video File, beginning on Wednesday, April 23.

NASA Television is broadcast on AMC-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz, and audio of 6.8 MHz.

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