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Press Accreditation For Crew Launch From Baikonur Cosmodrome

Debra J. Rahn
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1638)

March 10, 2003


The International Space Station Expedition Seven crew will be launched in a Soyuz capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, no earlier than April 26, 2003. The crew will dock with the Space Station two days later.

The Expedition Seven crew has not been formally named for the rotation flight. Two NASA astronauts, Ed Lu and Michael Foale, and two Russian cosmonauts, Russian Air Force Col. Yuri Malenchenko and Alexander Kaleri, are training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia. The Station International Partners will select one astronaut and one cosmonaut for Expedition Seven in mid-March.

The Partners agreed to launch only two crewmen on the Soyuz flight. The decision to reduce the crew size was based on the temporary grounding of the Shuttle fleet, which limits the capability to deliver consumables, such as water, to the Station. A planned, unmanned Russian Progress supply vehicle will be launched to the Station in June. The Expedition Six crew, Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA Station Science Officer Don Pettit, will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 craft in May, 2003.

The Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) and RSC-Energia are arranging a media trip to Baikonur from April 23 to 26 to cover pre-flight and launch activities. Media must request press accreditation by March 19 to attend.

News media representatives should send a fax to:

Ms. Debra Rahn
PAO for International Relations
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546
Fax: 202/358-4329

The fax must be on the organization's letterhead with the media representative's full name, title, organization, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, passport number, with issuance and expiration dates, date and place of birth, citizenship, city where the visa will be issued, list of equipment, with the value and weight of each item for customs.

Clearing equipment through customs in Russia and Kazakhstan is the responsibility of each media representative. All media representatives must provide a copy of the first page of passport by e-mail or fax. In addition, letter should guarantee payment of expenses.

A dual-entry visa is required for anyone traveling to Baikonur. RSC Energia will provide letters of invitation for media requiring visas. Russian visa forms are available in newsrooms at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; and NASA Headquarters, Washington.

Additional details:
Cost: Approximately $2,300 U.S. dollars per person. This includes round-trip bus transportation from the Russian Aviation and Space Agency to Vnukovo 3 airport, round-trip air transportation from Moscow to Baikonur, hotel accommodations, local transportation, and meals. Upon receipt of the press accreditation request, RSC-Energia will send individual invoices confirming the cost of the trip and bank information for transferring the money. Payment must be transferred by April 6, 2003.

Tour of Baikonur: Arrangements have been made for the media to cover the rollout of the Soyuz-TMA to the launch pad and pad preparations, a tour of facilities, crew news conference the day before launch, and launch day activities involving the crew.

Communication Equipment: Satellite phones are prohibited at the Soyuz launch site and may be confiscated by authorities. GSM 900 telephones are approved for use at Baikonur. GSM 900 can be purchased or leased in Moscow.

Baikonur Communication Center: Located in the Soyuz Integration Building (Bldg. 254). There are international telephones, data lines and fax machines available.

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

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