2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 10, 1999
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
International Space Station Status Report #99-21
The International Space Station is back on its own after the recent visit of Space Shuttle Discovery to deliver supplies and logistics in preparation for the arrival of the first crew to live on the station early next year.
All systems on the complex are in excellent shape with the station orbiting in its routine, unstaffed position with Unity pointed at the Earth and Zarya pointed toward space.
Available power levels currently are about 865 watts to provide thermal conditioning to the Early Communications System on Unity that was restored to full service by the astronauts during STS-96.
The mission evaluation team confirmed the failure of the Early Communications System return link was due to a switch inside the power distribution box. The actual cause of the failure remains under investigation.
The other major in-flight maintenance work that was performed by the crew during Discovery's mission was to change 18 small voltage regulators for Zarya's six batteries. Telemetry from the ISS shows all are working properly. Russian flight controllers now need only charge and recharge the batteries once every six months.
The next shuttle flight to visit the ISS is scheduled for December following the launch, docking and checkout of the Zvezda Service Module living quarters in November. Updates on the status of shuttle launch preparations are available on the Internet at: http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/status/status.htm
The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 252 statute miles and a low point of 240 statute miles, circling the Earth once approximately every 92 minutes. The Station has completed more than 3,150 orbits of Earth since its launch. As it passes overhead at dawn or dusk, the station is easily visible from the ground.
Space station viewing opportunities for locations worldwide are available on the Internet at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/
The next International Space Station status will be issued June 17.
Note: For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.
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