2 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 17, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Flight control teams in Houston and Moscow continue to work in tandem to monitor the health of systems aboard the two-segment International Space Station.

The focus of attention remains testing the command and control capability of the station's Zarya control module through the Early Communications System housed aboard the Unity node. This system was installed during the STS-88 shuttle mission to provide additional system command capability of Zarya's systems using NASA's communications satellites.

These ongoing command sequences are designed to not only demonstrate the general commanding capability, but to iron out configuration issues on the ground while training flight controllers in commanding that could be required in contingency situations when Russian ground stations are not available.

In the meantime, the controlled spin of the station continues to be monitored and fine-tuned as necessary to manage temperatures of the overall complex.

The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 258 statute miles and a low point of 244 statute miles. It's circling the Earth once every 92 minutes, 24 seconds.

ISS viewing opportunities from the ground can be found on the internet at:

The next Space Shuttle mission of Discovery to visit the station is targeted for launch
May 20. The flight's objectives are to deliver interior supplies and U.S. and Russian cranes to be installed on the station's exterior. Updates on orbiter processing can be found in the Kennedy Space Center's shuttle status report located on the internet at:

The next International Space Station status report is planned to be issued on Wednesday, February 24, 1999.

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