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Joint Statement by International Space Station Heads of Agency


> March 2, 2006
> Dean Acosta/Melissa Mathews
> Headquarters, Washington 
> (202) 358-1400/1272 
> RELEASE: 06-084
> The heads of space agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the 
> United States met at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on March 2, 2006, to 
> review International Space Station cooperation and endorse a revision 
> to the station configuration and assembly sequence. 
> At today's meeting, the Heads of Agency were also briefed on the 
> status of ongoing International Space Station operations and flight 
> hardware development activities across the partnership. The partners 
> reaffirmed their agencies' commitment to meet their mutual 
> obligations, to implement six person crew operations in 2009 and an 
> adequate number of shuttle flights to complete the assembly of the 
> space station by the end of the decade. 
> The partners also affirmed their plans to use a combination of 
> transportation systems provided by Europe, Japan, Russia, and the 
> United States to complete space station assembly in a timeframe that 
> meets the needs of the partners and to ensure full use of the unique 
> capabilities of the space station throughout its lifetime. 
> The International Space Station Heads of Agency expressed their 
> appreciation for the outstanding work being conducted by the space 
> station on-orbit crews and ground support personnel. They commended 
> them for their creativity in making full use of available resources 
> to operate the space station, prepare for assembly missions and 
> carrying out scientific research aboard the station. 
> The uninterrupted flow of Russian vehicles, the outstanding 
> performance of Canadarm2, the successful shuttle logistics flight, 
> and the resourcefulness of all of the partners' ground-based 
> engineers, researchers and operations personnel have served to 
> highlight the strength of the International Space Station partnership 
> and the importance of international cooperation in space operations. 
> The partners look forward to the upcoming space shuttle flight of the 
> STS-121 mission, a return to International Space Station assembly 
> activity and a permanent crew of three. 
> They also noted the upcoming launch of key space station elements such 
> as: three additional power trusses to support overall International 
> Space Station needs and the needs of the partners; the European Space 
> Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle; the U.S. Node 2; the European 
> Space Agency Columbus Module; the Canadian two-armed Special Purpose 
> Dexterous Manipulator Dextre; the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo; 
> the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module and the Japanese H-2 
> Transfer Vehicle. 
> These elements of the space station program will bring to fruition the 
> partnership's goal of operation and use of a permanently inhabited 
> civil International Space Station. 
> For information about NASA, the International Space Station, the Space 
> Shuttle, and agency programs on the Web, visit: 
> http://www.nasa.gov/home 
> -end-
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