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February 13, 2004

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston



The next residents of the International Space Station will discuss their upcoming mission during a live televised news conference on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. CST at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston.

Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke, and European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands will brief reporters.

Padalka, Fincke and Kuipers will launch April 18 (EDT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, and dock with the Station April 21. Padalka and Fincke will remain in space until Oct. 19, 2004. Kuipers will spend eight days aboard the Station conducting experiments. He is flying under a contract between ESA and the Russian space agency, Rosaviakosmos. He returns to Earth April 28 with the Expedition 8 crew.

Following the news conference, Padalka, Fincke and Kuipers will be available for individual interviews with reporters either in person at JSC or by phone. Reporters who want to schedule interviews should call the JSC newsroom at: 281/483-5111 by 2 p.m. CST, Tuesday, Feb. 17.

The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA Television, and questions will be taken from news media at participating NASA centers. NASA TV 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:


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