It may not exactly be the big break they were looking
for, but the Expedition Two crew onboard the International
Space Station made its Hollywood debut during Sunday night’s
Academy Awards ceremony, which was seen by an international
television audience of nearly 800 million viewers.

The 73rd annual Oscars started with a weightless space
station introduction of this year’s host – actor, comedian
and writer, Steve Martin – albeit only a life-sized likeness.
American astronaut Susan Helms, flanked by her crewmates,
Russian Commander Yury Usachev and fellow astronaut Jim Voss,
gave the show’s master of ceremonies a proper send-off.

“The Academy Awards is one of the few events that you know
the entire world watches,” said NASA Administrator Daniel S.
Goldin. “When producers of the Oscars’ ceremony approached
us, we thought it was an excellent opportunity to expose a
global audience to the important work being done by NASA and
its international partners in orbit on the International
Space Station.”

“The pace up there is incredible. The crew works so hard and
is so dedicated,” added Goldin. “It was nice to be able to
offer them a chance to relax for a moment and have a little
fun with the rest of the world.”

Producers from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences have a history of closely guarding details of the
opening ceremony, and this year’s program was no different.
The introduction, shot in the near zero-gravity of space, was
taped last week during the STS-102 mission that delivered the
members of the Expedition Two crew to their new home.

For the next five months, the crew will open the space-based
research outpost for business, beginning scientific work,
checking out a new Canadian-supplied robotic arm and
installing a new airlock designed for both U.S. and Russian

Additional information on the International Space Station,
Expedition Two, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences is available on the Internet at: