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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Crew Aboard Alpha Holds News Conference

Aired April 29, 2003 - 11:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: They're just getting started up in space. Let's go to space, about 250 miles above us, the International Space Station, specifically the Destiny science lab. Screen left is Don Petit, who's been up there now for 157 days. Bet he's anxious to go home.
Let's listen to this news conference for a little bit. I'll tell you who's who as the questions progress.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... any entry that you would do where you have to get rid of the energy of orbit and land on the surface of earth with zero velocity.

O'BRIEN: All right, he's passing the microphone.

QUESTION: I'm Mike Karoe (ph) from "The Houston Chronicle," and I have a question for Ken and Don.

Can you tell us what you're most looking forward to when you get back to Earth.

QUESTION: That's Ken Bowersox, the current commander of the space station, the one who's follicly challenged there.

KENNETH BOWERSOX, ASTRONAUT: For me, I'm actually going to miss station quite a lot. I feel a little bit like I'm being kicked out of my apartment for not paying my rent. But when I get back to Earth, the best part's going to be to be able to hug my wife and hug my kids.

QUESTION: Todd Halberson (ph) of "Florida Today" for Ed Lu.

Ed, I'm wondering what you think the biggest challenge will be operating this space station with just a two-person crew for the time from now until October.

O'BRIEN: Ed Lou is a NASA astronaut about to embark on six months on the space station.

EDWARD LU, ASTRONAUT: Well, I think we'll be able to do just fine. The crew is quite experienced. He's lived on the MiR for three months. I think with his capable help, there is of course the problem that as Ken mentioned, we don't have shuttles coming which bring huge amounts of supplies up here. So we will have to conserve a little bit on some things. But I don't think it will be that bad.

QUESTION: Tracey Watson, "USA Today" for Ken Bowersox.

What do you think about the fact that you'll be landing in Kazakhstan instead of Florida?

O'BRIEN: They would have gone home in a Shuttle.

BOWERSOX: Hi, Tracey. Well, I'm sort of excited about it. I have been looking down quite a bit here from orbit, looking down on Kazakhstan. It's a beautiful country. And it's very exciting for me. I went through a lot of training there in Star City. I always thought, I'm doing this training, and I'm never going to get to use it, in the Soyuz, and now we're going to get to use it. So I think it's going to be a very, very interesting life experience.

QUESTION: Mary Estesion (ph), News 24 Houston for Ed and Yuri. Right now, you're scheduled to return to Earth in about six months. Is there any possibility of you coming earlier if the shuttle's fleet starts flying again?

O'BRIEN: All right, we're going to leave it at that. That's a little dose of the news conference that is currently going on in space. We're going to keep watching it.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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