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April 2, 2004

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston



A new crew of explorers is packing its bags for a busy six-month stint living and working aboard the International Space Station. Another is preparing for a homecoming to Earth after a successful stay.

NASA officials will discuss the Expedition 8 and Expedition 9 International Space Station missions during a series of briefings on Friday, April 9 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The briefings will be broadcast live on NASA Television with question-and-answer capability for reporters at participating NASA centers.

The Expedition 9 Commander, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, and NASA Station Science Officer Mike Fincke are scheduled to launch on April 18 EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They'll arrive at the orbiting laboratory two days later.

Launching with Padalka and Fincke will be European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands. He'll spend nine days on the Station performing scientific experiments under a contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Kuipers will return to Earth April 29 EDT with the current Space Station crew. Expedition 8 Commander and NASA Station Science Officer Mike Foale and a Russian cosmonaut, Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, have been on the Station since last October.

The briefings scheduled for April 9 include:

9 - 10 a.m. EDT: Briefing on the International Space Station/Soyuz Flight Readiness Review. * William Gerstenmaier, ISS Program Manager

10 - 11:30 a.m. EDT: Preflight briefing on Expedition 9 *Mike Suffredini, International Space Station Manager for Integration and Operations * Melissa Owens, Expedition 9 Increment Manager * Matt Abbott, Expedition 9 Lead Flight Director * Dr. Janice Voss, Expedition 9 Increment Scientist

1 - 2 p.m. EDT: Recap of Expedition 8 * Joel Montalbano, Expedition 8 Lead Flight Director * Pete Hasbrook, Expedition 8 Increment Manager * Dr. Terry Taddeo, Expedition 8 Lead Flight Surgeon * Dr. Janice Voss, Expedition 8 Increment Scientist

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 more information about the International Space Station and its crews on the Internet, visit:

For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit:


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