Managers continue to manage electrical power through four of six batteries inside the Zarya module, with battery number one currently in full restoration mode through Monday. Following its restoration, which is conducted on all batteries every six months to maximize charging capacity, battery one will be available for use periodically, if necessary.
Plans are in work to eventually re-run the Kurs automatic docking system test that was run late last year. The test showed discrepancies in the relative velocity readings caused, most likely, by some electromagnetic interference. Though EMI is the leading candidate for the problem, flight controllers in Moscow and Houston are not ruling out a hardware problem. The test will confirm EMI as the culprit and workarounds are possible to reduce or eliminate it during actual flight operations when the Kurs is used to dock the ISS with the Zvezda service module two weeks after it is launched later this year.
No other issues face the flight control teams as they continue to work closely together in the U.S. and Russia.
ISS and Shuttle program managers continue to evaluate a Shuttle mission to the Station this spring to perform maintenance on Zarya to preserve its health in advance of Zvezda’s arrival.
That launch is on hold pending resolution and recovery plans for the Proton booster, which will be used to lift Zvezda into orbit. Managers plan to meet in Moscow in February or March to determine the most likely launch target date for Zvezda.
The International Space Station continues to operate in excellent shape as it orbits the Earth at an altitude of 247 by 231 statute miles. Since the launch of Zarya in November 1998, the ISS has completed more than 7,550 orbits. Space Station viewing opportunities worldwide are available on the Internet at:
NOTE: The next
International Space Station status report will be issued on Thursday,