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SPACE STATION AGENCY LEADERS LOOK TO THE FUTURE



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC


Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington                     July 30, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

RELEASE: 03-254

SPACE STATION AGENCY LEADERS LOOK TO THE FUTURE

     Space agency leaders from the United States, Europe, 
Canada, Japan and Russia met Wednesday in Monterey, Calif., 
to review the status of cooperation on the International 
Space Station Program.

The meeting participants noted the significant milestone of 
the 1,000th day of permanent human presence aboard the Space 
Station during a live telephone conversation with the current 
crew, Expedition 7 Commander, Russian cosmonaut Yuri 
Malenchenko, and NASA Station Science Officer, Ed Lu.

The Heads of Agency (HOA) were briefed on the preliminary 
plans for the return to flight of the U.S. Space Shuttle.  
They agreed to review and update the Space Station Program 
Action Plan, adopted in December 2002, in order to realize 
the objectives of the program as soon as possible.  The HOA 
agreed the Space Station Program Action Plan should remain 
the basis for proceeding with selection of a Station 
configuration.

The HOA agreed to meet in Moscow in mid-October to discuss 
specific Space Station implementation plans after taking into 
account NASA's Return to Flight Activities.

Appreciation was expressed for the strong support for the 
Space Station Program by all partner agencies, and in 
particular by the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, for 
resolutely providing for continuing human presence on the 
Station after the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia 
and her courageous crew.

The International Space Station partnership looks forward to 
continuing critical Russian support for general Station 
operations, logistics, crew transportation and rescue 
capability until the Space Shuttle returns to flight. The 
partners expressed great enthusiasm for NASA's Return to 
Flight, the timely resumption of Space Station assembly, and 
opportunities for enhanced use of this world-class research 
facility.


-end-

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