11:30 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 27, 2000

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

International Space Station (ISS) flight controllers have resumed routine operations watching over systems and cycling onboard batteries, while awaiting word on the next available launch opportunity for Space Shuttle Atlantis. That decision is expected late today or early tomorrow.

Following three launch attempts this week, shuttle and station managers met this morning to formulate a plan that would protect launch opportunities anytime starting next week through the end of May. The plan will be briefed tomorrow morning followed by issuance of a more detailed ISS Status Report.

Presently, Russian flight controllers are developing a detailed plan for using thrusters on the Zarya module to raise the Station’s orbit as early as Saturday, if necessary.

The current orbit of the ISS is 227 by 211 miles (365 x 339 kilometers). The average decay of the Station’s orbit is about 1* miles per week. As of midday today, the ISS has circled the Earth more than 8,200 times since November 1998.

SPECIAL NOTE: The next Mission Control Center ISS Status Report regarding on-orbit activities will be issued tomorrow, Friday, April 28. For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.