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March 29, 2004

Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington

James A. Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston



NASA Television will carry the launch of Expedition 9, the next residents of the International Space Station, and return of the current crew, as well as numerous other events, over the next several weeks.

Russian Gennady Padalka is the Expedition 9 Commander. NASA astronaut Mike Fincke is flight engineer and space station science officer. The Expedition 9 crew is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on April 18 at approximately 11:19 p.m. EDT, aboard a Soyuz vehicle for the two-day trip.

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands will join them. Kuipers is flying to the Station for nine days of scientific research under a commercial agreement between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Kuipers, along with Expedition 8 Commander and NASA Science Officer Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, will return to Earth April 29 on the Soyuz vehicle docked to the Station. Foale and Kaleri have lived and worked in orbit since last October.

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:

In addition to video highlights of crew pre-launch activities airing regularly on the NASA TV Video File, major programming events include:(all times Eastern)

Wednesday, March 31: 9 a.m. EST- Expedition 9/ESA Crew News Conference from Star City, Russia (taped)

Sunday, April 18: 9 a.m. EDT- Expedition 9/ESA Final Crew Pre-launch News Conference from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (taped)

10:30 p.m. EDT - Expedition 9/ESA Launch coverage (live)(Launch scheduled at 11:19 p.m. EDT)

Wednesday, April 21: Midnight EDT - Expedition 9/ESA International Space Station Docking coverage (live) (Docking scheduled at 1 a.m. EDT)

Thursday, April 29: 1 p.m. EDT - Expedition 8/ESA Farewell and Hatch Closure coverage (live) (Hatch closure scheduled at 1:34 p.m. EDT)

4:15 p.m. EDT - Expedition 8/ESA ISS Undocking coverage (live) (Undocking scheduled at 4:46 p.m. EDT)

6:30 p.m. EDT - Expedition 8/ESA Deorbit Burn and Landing coverage (live) (Deorbit burn scheduled at approximately 7:04 p.m. EDT; landing scheduled at 7:58 p.m. EDT)

Friday, April 30: Time TBD -- Video of crew activities at the remote landing site in northern Kazakhstan (taped)

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


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