The International Space Station (ISS) Partnership today granted an
exemption for the flight of Dennis Tito, an American businessman, to the space
station aboard the Soyuz 2 Taxi mission, which is scheduled for launch April 28.

Following intense and extensive consultations among all space station
partners, the Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) achieved consensus on the
proposed Tito flight.

The ISS partners reaffirmed that safety is the paramount consideration in the
space station program. Further, the mechanisms that implement the ISS
international agreements have been tested and worked well to resolve a difficult
issue facing the ISS partnership.

The Joint Decision Statement by all ISS partners, which outlines the
background, process and conditions for granting an exemption for the April 28
Soyuz flight of a non-professional to the ISS is available on the Internet at:

[or online in HTML at SpaceRef at]

The MCB completed its work in accordance with the recommendations of the
Stafford-Anfimov Commission. As part of the board’s deliberations, there was
agreement that no ISS partner would propose another flight of a non-
professional crewmember until the detailed crew criteria had been finalized and
adopted by the ISS partnership. This agreement among the ISS partners
should preclude a similar issue arising in the future.