International Space Station (ISS) flight controllers have resumed routine operations watching over systems and cycling onboard batteries, while awaiting word on the next available launch opportunity for Space Shuttle Atlantis. That decision is expected late today or early tomorrow.
Following three launch attempts this week, shuttle and station managers met this morning to formulate a plan that would protect launch opportunities anytime starting next week through the end of May. The plan will be briefed tomorrow morning followed by issuance of a more detailed ISS Status Report.
Presently, Russian flight controllers are developing a detailed plan for using thrusters on the Zarya module to raise the Stationís orbit as early as Saturday, if necessary.
The current orbit of the ISS is 227 by 211 miles (365 x 339 kilometers). The average decay of the Stationís orbit is about 1½ miles per week. As of midday today, the ISS has circled the Earth more than 8,200 times since November 1998.
SPECIAL NOTE: The next Mission Control Center ISS Status Report regarding on-orbit activities will be issued tomorrow, Friday, April 28. 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 electronic mail message to email@example.com. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type "subscribe hsfnews" (no quotes). This will add the email address that sent the subscribe message to the news release distribution list. The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. Once you have subscribed you will receive future news releases via e-mail.