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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington                     July 23, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

RELEASE: 04-237


     The space agency leaders from the United States, Russia, 
Japan, Europe and Canada met at the ESA Technical Centre 
(ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, on July 23, 2004, to 
discuss International Space Station (ISS) cooperation 
activities. At this meeting, the ISS Partnership unanimously 
endorsed the ISS technical configuration and reviewed the 
status of ISS on-orbit operations and plans. The new ISS 
configuration is planned for completion by the end of the 
decade and will accommodate on-orbit elements from each of 
the ISS Partners. The configuration will enable increased 
utilization and will provide early opportunities for an 
enhanced crew of greater than three people.

The ISS Partnership's endorsement of this configuration 
provides a clear basis for completion of programmatic and 
financial evaluation and subsequent agreement on a 
transportation and logistics framework that will support 
assembly and operation of ISS. Russian Soyuz vehicles, the 
U.S. Space Shuttle, the automated logistics re-supply, will 
support this framework and re-boost capabilities provided by 
Russian Progress vehicles, and the transfer vehicles ATV and 
HTV to be provided by Europe and Japan.

The partnership also agreed that additional assessments would 
be conducted to confirm the ISS flight program in a nominal 
mode in 2005 and further to evaluate opportunities to 
accelerate the launch of the Japanese and European research 
modules JEM (Kibo) and Columbus and to establish a specific 
schedule to enhance the permanent crew.

NASA and FSA (Russian Federal Space Agency) once again 
reconfirmed their commitment to support individually and 
cooperatively, in 2005, uninterrupted (continuous) human 
presence on the ISS of the integrated crew, provide for its 
rotation, and rescue on a parity basis. For that they agree 
to complete agreements on mutual responsibilities for ISS as 
soon as possible. The results of these assessments will be 
reviewed at the next ISS Heads of Agency meeting in early 
2005 leading to the partnership's final endorsement of the 
ISS configuration.

During their discussions, the space agency leadership 
reaffirmed their enduring commitment to the unprecedented 
international cooperation that has characterized the ISS 
Program. In particular, they expressed their appreciation of 
Russia's significant efforts, through the provision of crew 
transportation and re-supply capabilities, to safely maintain 
a human presence on-orbit during the current hiatus in Space 
Shuttle flights.

They also expressed appreciation for NASA's continuing 
efforts to safely return the Space Shuttle to flight in the 
March 2005 timeframe as a significant step for continuing ISS 
assembly and operations.

The leaders of the ISS partnership also noted the continued 
success of on-orbit ISS utilization and operations 
activities, including the spacewalk on June 30, 2004, by 
Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science 
Officer Mike Fincke, and the April 2004 research mission to 
ISS by ESA astronaut André Kuipers as well as continuing 
successful critical on-orbit operations of Canada's Canadarm 

A graphic showing the technical station configuration 
endorsed at this meeting is available on the Internet at



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