2 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 20, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

The International Space Station remained operating in excellent condition this week with flight controllers in Houston and Moscow noting no mechanical problems onboard.

Moscow flight controllers continued housekeeping activities involving deep-cycling the six Zarya batteries, fully discharging and then recharging each individual battery about once a week to ensure they remain at peak performance. The batteries have been performing well with this schedule, a more frequent schedule of deep-cycling than had been previously performed. Flight controllers are continuing to analyze the batteries' performance and the schedule of deep-cycling as well as any other activities or alternatives that may be required to ensure their performance remains optimum.

The International Space Station has remained in a naturally stable slow spin throughout the week that conserves propellant and provides moderate temperatures on the spacecraft. No major systems tests or checkouts are planned for the station in the coming week. The next station assembly mission will be a visit by the Space Shuttle Discovery planned for launch in May on shuttle mission STS-96, a flight that will carry interior supplies for the station as well as U.S. and Russian cranes to be installed on the exterior. The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 259 statute miles and a low point of 245 statute miles, circling Earth once every 92 minutes.

Current opportunities available for locations worldwide to view the station from the ground as it passes overhead can be found on the internet at

The progress of preparations for Discovery's upcoming visit to the station can be found on the Kennedy Space Center's Space Shuttle status report located on the internet at

The next International Space Station status report is planned to be issued on Wednesday, January 27, 1999.

Note: For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.