2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 26, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Flight controllers in Houston and Moscow spent a quiet week monitoring the orbiting International Space Station, with the outpost's systems continuing to operate well and their status basically unchanged from last week.

The Station remains oriented with the Unity module pointed toward Earth and Zarya toward space in a slow spin, an orientation that provides moderate temperatures on the spacecraft and conserves fuel. One of the Station's six batteries remains disconnected from the electrical system. The other five batteries continue to operate well and are supplying sufficient power for all systems.

The disconnected battery, labeled Battery 1, was removed from operation earlier this month after flight controllers saw its performance degrade. Flight controllers in Moscow are continuing to analyze the degradation seen during the battery's operation and are planning a test reconnection of the battery to assist in that analysis. For the test, Battery 1 will be reconnected to the Station's power system for one 92-minute orbit of Earth to allow controllers to better characterize the performance of it and its associated electronics.

Plans are being formulated to replace the battery and its electronics with new equipment to be carried aboard the next Shuttle mission to visit the Station, mission STS-101 aboard Atlantis.

The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 249 statute miles and a low point of 236 statute miles, circling the Earth every 92 minutes. The complex has completed more than 4,300 orbits since the launch of Zarya in November 1998. Space Station viewing opportunities worldwide are available on the Internet at:

The next International Space Station status report will be issued on Sept. 2. For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.