Dwayne Brown Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1726) Doug Peterson Johnson Space Center, Houston (Phone

: 281/483-5111) RELEASE: 02-55

March 18, 2002

ASTRONAUTS ASSIGNED FOR SPACE STATION EXPEDITION TRAINING As continuous habitation of the International Space Station (ISS) nears the 18-month mark, NASA has named crewmembers to begin specialized training for future longterm expeditions to the orbiting research facility. Three crewmembers have been assigned to train for the ninth expedition aboard the station. Veteran Russian Cosmonaut Gennady I. Padalka (Col., Russian Air Force) will serve as station commander, and first-time flyers Astronaut E. Michael Fincke (Lt. Col., USAF) and Cosmonaut Oleg D. Kononenko will serve as flight engineers for Expedition Nine. Padalka previously served as commander of Russian Space Station Mir Mission 26 and ISS Expedition Four backup commander. A graduate of the Eisk Military Aviation College, he served as a pilot and senior pilot in the Russian Air Force. Fincke, a member of the 1996 astronaut class, served as backup flight engineer for Expedition Four. He has two Bachelor of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a master's in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and a master's in Physical Sciences (Planetary Geology) from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Kononenko has a degree from the Kharkov Aviation Institute and a post-graduate degree from the Kuibyshev Aviation Institute (Samara). Astronaut Daniel M. Tani, who flew in space for the first time aboard STS-108 in December 2001, will serve as Fincke's backup for Expedition Nine. Tani, also a member of the 1996 astronaut class, has undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT. Cosmonauts Aleksandr F.

Poleschuk and Roman Y. Romanenko will serve Russian backup crewmembers. Astronaut John L. Phillips, Ph.D., has been named as backup flight engineer for Expedition Seven, replacing Paul Richards, who resigned from NASA last month to pursue private interests. Richards flew as a mission specialist on STS-102 in March 2001. Phillips was a member of the STS-100 crew in April 2001 and had been assigned as a backup crewmember for the Expedition Eight crew. Replacing Phillips in that role is Charles J. Camarda, Ph.D. Camarda is a member of the 1996 astronaut class and currently serves as a Mission Control Center communicator with the space station crew. He is a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He has a master's degree from George Washington University and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Camarda joins astronaut Leroy Chiao and cosmonaut Mikhail B. Kornienko as the backup crew for Expedition Eight. Additional information on the crews, their missions and ongoing space station operations can be found on the NASA human space flight Web site at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov -end-