INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
STATUS REPORT #99-20
2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 20, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
As the International Space
Station celebrates its 6-month anniversary today, flight controllers
in Houston and Moscow ready both the station and shuttle for the first
visit to the outpost of the year scheduled to begin with launch of
Discovery in the early morning of May 27.
With repairs complete on the orbiter's hail-damaged external fuel
tank, the shuttle was moved back to the launch pad this morning for
the final week of processing leading to its launch scheduled for 6:48
a.m. Eastern time next Thursday carrying logisitics and supplies that
eventually will be used by the first crew to live on the ISS.
With an on-time launch May 27, Discovery's commander will dock the
orbiter to the Unity end of the ISS at 12:24 a.m. EDT on May 29. Undocking
five days later on June 3 is planned for late afternoon east coast
Preparations for Discovery's arrival call for the flight controllers
to uplink commands beginning Monday night that will turn on heaters
strategically placed around the station to slowly warm the interior
volume prior to docking and the crew climbing on board to begin transfer
Meanwhile, as Discovery was slowly rolled back to the launch pad,
half way around the world in Kazakhstan the Service Module has arrived
by train for the final months of its processing for launch atop a
Proton booster like the rocket that launched the Zarya control module
six months ago.
Currently going by the working title of Zvezda (Star in English),
the Service Module will complete its testing at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
launch site in the same checkout area as Zarya prior to being loaded
in the Proton for launch scheduled for the fall. It provides the living
quarters, for the first crew scheduled to arrive on a Soyuz rocket
early next year.
When Discovery arrives at the station, it will be carrying 3,600 pounds
of supplies and hardware. Updates on the status of its launch preparations
are available on the Internet at:
The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of
251 statute miles and a low point of 237 statute miles, circling the
Earth once approximately every 92 minutes. The Station has completed
more than 2,826 orbits of Earth since its launch. As it passes overhead
at dawn or dusk, the station is easily visible from the ground, and
it will become even brighter once Discovery has docked.
Space Station viewing opportunities
for locations worldwide are available on the Internet at:
The next International Space Station status will be contained in the
STS-96 Mission Control Center reports issued twice daily throughout
Discovery's flight. ISS reports will resume being issued weekly each
Thursday following the shuttle mission.
Note: For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs
Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.
NASA Johnson Space Center Shuttle Mission/Space Station Status Reports
and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet
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