April 24, 2001 -- 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:
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.
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