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Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

April 18, 2004
RELEASE : 04-133
Expedition 9 On The Way To Space Station
The new crew of the International Space Station was successfully launched tonight at 11:19 p.m. EDT. The crew reached orbit at approximately 11:28 p.m. EDT.

The Expedition 9 Commander, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, and NASA International Space Station Science Officer Mike Fincke were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They'll arrive at the orbiting laboratory in two days.

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands was launched with Padalka and Fincke. He will 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 Expedition 8 Station crew, Commander and NASA Station Science Officer Mike Foale and a Russian cosmonaut, Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri. They have been on the Station since last October.

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


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