Kyle Herring/Debra Rahn Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1874/1638) RELEASE: 02-241

December 6, 2002

SPACE STATION ACTION PLAN APPROVED The leaders of the five space agencies that are International Partners in the International Space Station met Friday in Tokyo and concluded work on the 2002 Program Action Plan. "This is a significant step forward in our objective to develop a unique science and research laboratory for breakthrough opportunities never before achieved. As we transition from the engineering and construction phase of the International Space Station to that of a prominent science platform, the process the Partnership agreed to today will help move us to that objective over the next 12 to 18 months," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "This is truly a testimonial to the achievements that can be accomplished through international cooperation," he added. The Program Action Plan was adopted by the Partnership at the Heads of Agency meeting held in Paris in June 2002. The Program Action Plan provided the framework for the Partnership's efforts, over the past six months, to develop an option path to meet Station use and resource requirements and to develop a proposed process for selecting a configuration option beyond the accommodation of remaining International Partner elements. In a lengthy and complex series of discussions and evaluations, the Partnership successfully implemented every item of the Program Action Plan on schedule. As a result, the Station Heads of Agency unanimously agreed to endorse an option path that enables maximum Space Station usage during the 2006-2007 timeframe. The plan calls for greater use of Station research elements, and the Partners also agreed on a process for selecting a Space Station configuration beyond the accommodation of the remaining International Partner elements. This process includes further technical and programmatic assessment, cost estimation, and internal budgetary reviews by each partner.

In accordance with the newly agreed "ISS Program Action Plan for Selection of An ISS Configuration," the Heads of Agency will reconvene in summer 2003 in Moscow to select a revised Station configuration option. They will meet next winter in Washington to agree on a Station configuration. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe chaired Friday's meeting with Dr. Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency; Antonio Rodota, Director General of the European Space Agency; Yuri Nikolayevich Koptev, General Director of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency; and Shuichiro Yamanouchi, President of the National Space Development Agency of Japan. Yamanouchi served as the host of this Heads of Agency Meeting. ISS Heads of Agency Joint Statement Space agency leaders from the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia met in Tokyo, Japan, December 6, 2002, to review and further promote International Space Station (ISS) cooperation. The meeting participants reviewed in detail the significant progress that has been made in the development and deployment of the ISS elements and in the implementation of the ISS Program Action Plan adopted at the last Heads of Agency meeting in June 2002. This Plan provided the framework for the Partnership's efforts over the last six months to select an option path to meet the utilization and resource requirements of the ISS. At this meeting, the participants unanimously endorsed an option path that enables maximized ISS utilization in the 2006/2007 timeframe through greater use of ISS research elements. The implementation of an expanded scientific program on ISS would be supported by phased growth of ISS capabilities, significantly increased quantity of permanent crew, with crew rescue initially provided by additional Soyuz crew rescue vehicles and eventually by both Soyuz and Orbital Space Plane. Additional Space Shuttle, and other vehicle support would also enhance this unique on-orbit research facility. The participants also agreed upon a process for selecting an ISS configuration beyond the accommodation of the remaining International Partner elements. This process includes further technical and programmatic assessment, cost estimation, and internal budgetary reviews by each partner.

It will lead to approval of a configuration option recommendation in March 2003, the selection of a revised ISS configuration option by June/July 2003, and agreement on a configuration by December 2003. The Partners noted with great enthusiasm the continuing success of ISS assembly activities and confirmed that development of the remaining ISS elements is proceeding as planned. They look forward to successful accommodation of key ISS partner elements by February 2004 that allows the accommodation of remaining partner ISS utilization and infrastructure elements. This will enable improved scientific and technological capabilities in the 2006/2007 timeframe. They also highlighted the third year of permanent human presence and research on board the ISS and the recent successful launch of the ISS Expedition Six crew. This crew will concentrate on assembly tasks and the conduct of essential scientific research on behalf of all of the ISS Partners to improve life on Earth while exploring the frontier of space. The Partners look forward to increasing tangible benefits of this unprecedented international cooperation as the Partnership proceeds with assembly, and increased utilization of, this world-class research facility. -end-