INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT #99-06
2 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 10, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

The International Space Station continues to fly with no systems problems affecting its performance as flight control teams in Houston and Moscow watch over the orbiting outpost.

Flight controllers continue to test the commanding capability of the Zarya module through the Early Communications System of the Unity connecting node. This system was installed and tested by the crew of STS-88 in December 1998.

The test objectives included demonstrating the general commanding capability using NASA's communications satellites while training flight controllers in both centers for commanding sequences that could be required primarily during contingency situations when commanding capability is interrupted through Russian ground stations.

This testing will continue for the next couple of weeks. Battery cycling also continued this week in order to maximize peak operation of the power generating components of the Zarya.

In the meantime, the controlled spin of the station has been periodically adjusted to conserve fuel by minimizing firings of the thruster jets and to manage the temperatures of the overall complex.

The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 259 statute miles and a low point of 245 statute miles. Its orbital period -- the time it takes the station to circle the Earth once -- is approximately 92 minutes.

ISS viewing opportunities from the ground can be found on the internet at:
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/

The next Space Shuttle mission of Discovery to visit the station is targeted for launch
May 20. The flight's objectives are to deliver interior supplies and U.S. and Russian cranes to be installed on the station's exterior. Updates on orbiter processing can be found in the Kennedy Space Center's shuttle status report located on the internet at:
http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/status/status.htm

The next International Space Station status report is planned to be issued on Wednesday, February 17, 1999.

Note: For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.