The heads of the International Space Station partners, space agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States, met at European Space Agency Headquarters in Paris, France, on January 23, 2007, to review ISS cooperation.
In their discussions, the Heads of Agency noted the significant accomplishments of the partnership in implementing the space station configuration and assembly sequence endorsed at their last meeting in March 2006. Among the milestones acknowledged by the Heads of Agency were reestablishment of three-person ISS crew and re-initiation of station assembly activities; three extremely challenging Space Shuttle missions with outstanding extravehicular accomplishments by American, Russian, Canadian and European astronauts; continued exceptional performance of the Canadarm2 including on-orbit operation by a Canadian astronaut; and the uninterrupted flow of Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles that provided essential crew and cargo delivery and return. Successful completion of these assembly activities has paved the way for the planned arrival of Node 2 followed by two new laboratories, the European Space Agency Columbus module and the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo, as well as the Canadian two-armed Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator Dextre within a year.
The Heads of Agency reviewed the status of current ISS development, configuration and operations activities across the partnership. Transportation capability, including the European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, the Japanese H-2 Transfer Vehicle, the Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles, the U.S. Space Shuttle, Commercial Orbital Transportation, and Crew Exploration Vehicle were discussed. Also the timely achievement of a six person crew and completion of space station assembly were reviewed.
The Heads of Agency expressed their continued appreciation for the outstanding work by on-orbit crews and ground support personnel to bring the space station to its full productive capacity. They acknowledged the strength of the partnership that characterizes the ISS and the importance of international cooperation in achieving mutual objectives in the exploration and utilization of space.
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