As continuous habitation of the International Space
Station (ISS) nears the 18-month mark, NASA has named
crewmembers to begin specialized training for future long-
term 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

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

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