Encyclopedia Astronautica
1999.10.21 - ISS Status Report: ISS 99-40


In orbit on the International Space Station activities continue to go smoothly with the focus being on systems checks and command link verification between the two control centers and the orbiting complex.

Cycling of the five batteries on the Zarya module continues with no problems seen in the units that store the Sun's energy and convert it to electrical power for the components in both Zarya and Unity.

Additionally, a test was done using Unity's early communications system to turn on, and then turn off, an air circulation fan inside Zarya to prove the system's effectiveness to operate when commanded through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System using the Early Communications System.

A test of the onboard automatic docking system, called Kurs, was performed with no issues. The test included the system's passive avionics and acceleration measurement components.

While all activities on orbit remain quiet, 12 astronauts and cosmonauts spent this week at the launch site for Russian components at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to view up close the next module to be delivered to space early next year. The Russian Zvezda service module continues in its processing in a checkout hangar near its launch pad.

The crew members of Expeditions 1 (and its backup crew), 3, and 4 conducted a 'walkdown' of the module which will serve as the living quarters for early crews. The traditional crew equipment interface test (CEIT) is typically done on all flight vehicles to provide an opportunity for the people who will actually live and perform work in it, to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the module.

Again this week, the International Space Station's motion control system was turned on to accurately measure the vehicle's spin rate and make any adjustments necessary. The slow spin allows controllers to maintain even temperatures on the overall structure and minimizes propellant usage to maintain the complex's orientation.

The ISS is orbiting at an altitude of 247 by 230 statute miles. Since the launch of Zarya last November, the Station has completed more than 5,240 orbits. S

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