10 a.m. EST, Saturday, November 21, 1998
Mission Control Center, Korolev, Russia

The International Space Station's Zarya module completed a first day in orbit early this morning as flight controllers at Mission Control in Korolev, Russia, continued checks of the module's systems and fired an engine to begin raising its orbit to the planned altitude for a rendezvous by the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Dec. 6.

Today, flight controllers tested the television cameras Zarya will use for its eventual automated rendezvous in summer 1999 with the early station living quarters, the Service Module. During two tests of the black-and-white television system, all equipment worked as expected. Flight controllers also performed a successful 10-second test firing of one of the two large engines on the module that are used for making major orbital changes, finding it in good condition.

Later, the same engine was fired for one minute, 40 seconds in the first of several maneuvers over the next few days that eventually will raise Zarya to a circular orbit of about 242 statute miles altitude, the orbit at which Endeavour will capture the module. Prior to today's engine firings, Zarya was in an elliptical orbit with a high point of about 225 statute miles and a low point of about 114 statute miles. Today's engine firings raised Zarya's orbit to about 226 by 156 statute miles. Zarya is circling Earth every 90 minutes at inclination of 51.6 degrees to the equator.

Both Russian and American flight controllers are on duty at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow watching over Zarya's operations. U.S. flight controllers also are monitoring the activities at the International Space Station Flight Control Room at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Upcoming events for Zarya include further engine firings on Monday and Tuesday to continue rasing its orbit followed by several systems tests later in the week in preparation for the rendezvous by Endeavour. During times when Zarya is not actively performing systems checks or other operations, it is put into a slow spin to conserve fuel and maintain moderate temperatures on the spacecraft.

The next International Space Station status report will be issued Monday morning or as developments warrant.

Editors: For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Russian Mission Control Center, Korolev, Russia, 256-961-6225 or the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas,