Press Release

Joint Statement, International Space Station Heads of Agency Meeting

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2004
Filed under , , ,
Joint Statement, International Space Station Heads of Agency Meeting

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. This framework will be
supported by Russian Soyuz vehicles, the U.S. Space Shuttle,
the automated logistics re-supply 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 Andre 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

SpaceRef staff editor.