Muon ionization cooling provides the only practical solution to prepare high brilliance beams necessary for a neutrino factory or muon colliders. The muon ionization cooling experiment (MICE)* is under development at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK). It comprises a dedicated beam line to generate a range of input emittance and momentum, with time-of-flight and Cherenkov detectors to ensure a pure muon beam. A first measurement of emittance is performed in the upstream magnetic spectrometer with a scintillating fiber tracker. A cooling cell will then follow, alternating energy loss in liquid hydrogen and RF acceleration. A second spectrometer identical to the first one and a particle identification system provide a measurement of the outgoing emittance. In September 2009 it is expected that the beam and some detectors will be in the final commissioning phase and the time of the first measurement of input beam emittance only months away. The plan of steps of measurements of emittance and cooling, that will follow in the rest of 2009 and later, will be reported.