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October 3, 2003

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington

Rob Navias
Johnson Space Center, Houston


NASA TV Coverage for Next Launch, Landing of Space Station Crews>

NASA Television plans extensive coverage of the next crew exchange for the International Space Station. Coverage includes the launch and docking of the next International Space Station Expedition crew, and the landing of the current residents of the orbiting laboratory.

The coverage will be anchored from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, and the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia, with commentary and live television as available.

Expedition 8 Commander and NASA Space Station Science Officer Michael Foale, Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Alexander Kaleri of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos), and Spain's Pedro Duque of the European Space Agency (ESA) are scheduled to launch Oct. 18 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz TMA-3 vehicle. Docking with the Station is set for Oct. 20.

Foale and Kaleri will replace Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA Station Science Officer Ed Lu, who have been aboard since late April. Malenchenko and Lu will return to Earth Oct. 27, with Duque, who is flying under a commercial contract between ESA and Rosaviakosmos. Malenchenko, Lu and Duque will land in Kazakhstan in the Soyuz TMA-2 capsule, which is currently docked to the ISS. It will be the second time American astronauts return to Earth in a Soyuz spacecraft.

Coverage includes video B-roll of the crew's training and prelaunch activities in Baikonur during the weeks prior to launch. An in-flight crew news conference is planned for Oct. 23. Several in-flight media interviews are also scheduled during the handover period between the two crews. These events will be broadcast live on NASA TV.Coverage plans include (all times Central):

-- Oct. 18: Launch and post-launch coverage: 11:30 - 12:50 a.m. CST (Launch scheduled at 12:37 a.m. CST)

-- Oct. 20: Docking, hatch opening, welcoming ceremony and post-docking news conference: 1 - 4:30 a.m. CST (Docking scheduled at 2:20 a.m. CST, and hatch opening scheduled at 3:45 a.m. CST)

-- Oct. 27: Hatch Closure and Farewell Ceremony: 1:45 - 2:45 p.m. CST (Hatch closure scheduled at 2:10 p.m. CST)

-- Oct. 27: Expedition 7/ESA Astronaut Undocking: 4:45 - 5:45 p.m. CST (Undocking scheduled at 5:20 p.m. CST)

-- Oct. 27: Landing operations coverage: 7 - 9:30 p.m. CST (Landing scheduled at 8:36 p.m. CST; no live television coverage of the actual Soyuz spacecraft landing)

Video from the landing site, the crew's return to Astana, Kazakhstan, and their welcoming ceremony at Star City, Russia, will be fed throughout the morning Oct. 28. NASA TV will also replay the crew's post-landing news conference on Oct. 30.

NASA Television is available on AMC-9, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. For information about NASA TV on the Internet, visit:

For information about NASA and the International Space Station on the Internet, visit:

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