On Sunday 9 July, a first joint press conference will take place featuring the complete crew onboard the International Space Station following the docking of Space Shuttle Discovery, with ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany taking part.
Journalists gathering at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne will be able to put their questions to the astronauts onboard the ISS live via a specially-established audio link.
The pictures of the astronauts answering questions will be transmitted via satellite across Europe. The press conference, due to last about half an hour, will start at around 17:00 hrs. The European media will be allowed 12 minutes' interview time, after the US media.
Thomas Reiter is onboard Discovery heading for the Space Station following its 4 July launch. After the docking, which is scheduled for 6 July, he will take on his second flight engineer role as a member of the ISS Expedition 13 crew. And in carrying out his Astrolab mission specialist assignment, he will spend a total of six months onboard. During that time, he will conduct a programme of European science experiments and build up experience of ISS operations with a view to the deployment of Europe's Columbus research laboratory, which is due to be installed on the Space Station in 2007.
For its six-month Astrolab mission, ESA will be relaying daily TV reports from the ISS across Europe, marking key events with live coverage. Every work day at 17:00 CEST, the NASA TV ISS mission commentary will be relayed to Europe. Every Wednesday at 11:00 CEST, edited weekly highlights from a European perspective will be transmitted via satellite, for use by all broadcasters. The ESA TV transmission schedule is posted online at http://television.esa.int. Extensive articles on the progress of work onboard the ISS will be available at http://www.esa.int/astrolab.
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