This week aboard the International Space Station, commands were received from ground controllers in Houston and Moscow demonstrating that commands could be sent to the Zarya control module through the Unity node's communications system from Russia's Mission Control Center.
While system commanding continues, all other systems remain in excellent condition as engineers monitor the station's health through Russian ground stations and NASA's satellite tracking network.
These command and control functions of the Zarya control module are monitored through telemetry downlinks through the Early Communications System housed aboard the Unity node. Specific command sequences continue to be tested through this system to assist with general commanding capability, and to wring out configuration issues on the ground while training flight controllers in commanding that could be required in contingency situations.
Additionally this week, battery charge cycling continued in order to balance power consumption on board.
As during previous weeks, 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 256 statute miles and a low point of 242 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: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/
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: http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/status/status.htm
The next International Space Station status report is planned to be issued on Wednesday, March 10, 1999.
Note: For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.