2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 22, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

The focus of attention on the International Space Station has been continuing the bi-annual deep-cycling of the Zarya batteries and monitoring health of other systems onboard.

Flight controllers completed the deep-cycling on battery number 2 last week and battery number 1 Saturday.

Battery number 3 is wrapping up its cycling today or Friday and plans are being finalized for battery number 5's deep-cycling, or restoration, which will begin Monday. The final battery to be cycled will be number 4 early next month.

Battery restoration, the discharge and recharge of individual batteries or deep-cycling is done about every six months to maintain as long a life as possible on Zarya's batteries.

Flight controllers continue to evaluate the cause of a loss of communication with the Station through the left side antenna that is part of the backup communications system known as the Early Communications System. The system is working properly through the right side antenna and has no impact to operations or commanding to the ISS. Managers continue to study the data and are planning further tests on the system to verify the status of its health.

The International Space Station's orientation has Unity pointed toward Earth and Zarya pointed toward space in a slow spin about its axis to conserve fuel and maintain even temperatures on all surfaces.

The International Space Station is in a slightly elliptical orbit with a high point of 255 statute miles and a low point of 237 statute miles. It has completed more than 3,794 orbits of Earth since its launch and circles the Earth once approximately every 92 minutes.

Space Shuttle launch updates, including the next to visit the International Space Station, are available on the Internet at:

Space Station viewing opportunities for locations worldwide are available on the Internet at:

The next International Space Station status will be issued July 29.

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