The International Space Station today was awarded the
prestigious 2001 Prince of Asturias Award for International
Cooperation in Oviedo, Spain.

W. Michael Hawes, Deputy Associate Administrator for Space
Station, Office of Space Flight, NASA; Antonio Rodota,
Director General, European Space Agency; William “Mac” Evans,
President, Canadian Space Agency; Yuri N. Koptev, General
Director, Russian Aviation and Space Agency; and Kaname
Ikeda, Executive Director, National Space Development Agency
of Japan received the award from His Royal Highness (HRH) the
Prince of Asturias.

The Prince of Asturias Foundation granted this award in
recognition of the efforts made “to achieve international
cooperation that have been necessary to turn this enormous
orbiting laboratory for scientific research for a greater
understanding of our planet into a reality.”

HRH the Prince of Asturias also congratulated the six
astronauts currently on the station during a telephone call
earlier this morning. Onboard the orbiting platform are
Expedition Three Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir
Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin and Soyuz 3 taxi
crew Commander Victor Afanasyev, Flight Engineer Konstantin
Kozeev and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Claudie

The United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada are
partners in the largest and most complex civil,
international, cooperative space project ever undertaken.
Already an operational laboratory, the station eventually
will be about the size of a football field, and have a mass
of more than 450 tons. It will serve as a world-class
research facility providing a unique and continuous
microgravity platform for advances in biological and physical
sciences and technology 250 miles above the Earth.

On-orbit construction began in 1998 and three crews of
astronauts and cosmonauts have been living and working on
board since November 2000.

The Prince of Asturias Foundation, whose Honorary President
is HRH the Prince of Asturias, is a nonprofit institution
aimed at consolidating the ties between the Principality of
Asturias and its Prince and promoting science, technology,
art and literature.

The Award for International Cooperation is given “to an
individual, group or institution whose work has contributed
in an exemplary and significant way to mutual understanding,
progress and brotherhood among nations.” Previous winners
have included Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, Itzhak Rabin
and Yasser Arafat, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Additional information about the Prince of Asturias Award is
available on the Internet at: