A rejuvenated International Space Station circles the Earth in excellent shape from a higher orbit and is ready for the arrival of its next pressurized component - the Zvezda service module.
Following a housekeeping visit by Space Shuttle Atlantis, including one of its future crews, the station has four new batteries and associated electronics and 2,000 pounds of additional supplies and equipment that will help to make the first expedition crew feel right at home once it arrives for a four-month stay later this year.
The only issue of any kind on the station since Atlantis’ departure a week ago is that three of ten smoke detectors are showing anomalous readings even though there is no indication at all of smoke or fire. The other seven detectors are operating fine and would detect any real problem, should one exist.
With the new batteries joining the other two working sets, the Zarya control module is back to full redundancy awaiting the arrival of the Zvezda service module, which has completed all testing at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The module now will await the arrival tomorrow of its booster rocket - the Proton - which departed Moscow last week by train.
Zvezda’s launch remains scheduled to occur between July 8 and 14. The actual launch date will be determined later this month. A Joint Program Review and General Designer’s Review in Moscow are scheduled for June 22 and 23 to discuss programmatic issues and determine the final readiness of Zvezda for launch.
The current orbit of the ISS is 245 by 230 statute miles (394 x 371 kilometers). Its orbit was raised an average of 24 miles (38 kilometers) by the shuttle during the STS-101 mission. As of today, the station has circled the Earth more than 8,750 times since November 1998.
NOTE: The next Mission Control Center ISS Status Report regarding on-orbit activities will be issued June 8. For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.
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