OSCARS GO GLOBAL WITH INTERNATIONAL INTRODUCTION FROM SPACE
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 spacesuits.
Additional information on the International Space Station, Expedition Two, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is available on the Internet at:
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