2 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 27, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Flight controllers continued to monitor the International Space Station this week, performing routine housekeeping activities as well as a test using the Unity module's communications system to command some Zarya module systems.

The test, to be performed this evening, will check the capability to send commands to Zarya through the U.S. Early Communications System installed by the shuttle astronauts during STS-88 in December. Mission controllers also continued cycling of the six Zarya batteries to maintain them at peak operation, and the power system on the station continued to perform well. Mission controllers in Houston and Moscow also periodically checked the station's orientation a naturally stable slow spin that provides moderate vehicle shell temperatures and conserves fuel using television camera views from onboard the station as well as other data.

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 Space 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, February 3, 1999.

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