NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 December 2004

Status Report From: NASA HQ/SpaceRef/NASA Watch
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2004

image SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2004) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Early in the morning, FE Sharipov terminated the bake-out cycle on the BMP micropurification system's channel 2, moding it back to Purify.  This restored both filter beds to Purify mode.  [The regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bake-out to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Later, Sharipov installed the previously removed electronics box containing the US- 21 matching unit in the Progress 15P cargo ship, a one-hour task.  The installation was later electrically tested by MCC-M/TsUP.  The standard dynamic test of the US-21 with test firings of Progress thruster manifolds 1 & 2 is scheduled for tomorrow.  This will fully integrate the cargo ship back into the RS (Russian segment).   [The US-21 matching unit connects the Service Module (SM) with the Progress motion control and DPO thrusters systems, so that they can be commanded by the SM computer system (BVS).   After bolting the box down, Salizhan hooked it up with the telemetry (TM) connector to the BITS2-12 onboard TM system, after the ground had inhibited data output to the VD-SU control system mode and powered off the BITS, with Elektron and SKV-2 turned off.  The TM systems were subsequently turned back on by TsUP for conducting the electric activation test of the US-21 without crew involvement.]

Salizhan also worked on the Russian SRV-K2M condensate water processor, removing the BKO multifiltration unit, which has reached its service life limit, and replacing it with a new unit.  The old BKO was stowed for deorbiting in Progress 15P.   [The BKO, which contains five purification columns to remove dissolved mineral and organic impurities from the condensate, has a service lifetime of at least 450 liters throughput.  The purified water is used in the Elektron for electrolysis or, after treatment in the BKV water conditioning unit with salts for taste and silver ions for preservation, as potable water in the KPV container.]

Afterwards, Sharipov supported the activation of the Elektron apparatus, to resume production of oxygen for the cabin air.   [Elektron power-down/power-up operations require crew involvement, e.g., for checkup & control via laptop software, configuring valves, doing N2 purges and pressurizing the BZh Liquid Unit if required.]

CDR/SO Chiao conducted the monthly IMS-based PEP (portable emergency provisions) audit and inspection (last time done: 11/2).   [The procedure involves verification that PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), PBAs (portable breathing assemblies), QDMAs (quick-don mask assemblies) and EHTKs (extension hose/tee kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware.  PEPs are not removed from their locker unless obvious damage is discovered during the inspection.  There are a total of 5 PBAs in the U.S. segment (USOS), viz., two in the Node, two in the Lab, and one in the Airlock.  There is only one EHTK, in the Lab.]

Chiao relocated the U.S. TEPC (tissue equivalent proportional counter) radiation-measuring instrument from its place at the TeSS (temporary sleep station) in the Lab to the SM, plugging it into a CHeCS power outlet near its new location on panel 327.   [At this new temporary location, the TEPC radiation detector/spectrometer and the Russian R16 radiation sensor will be close to each other.  Since the data collected from both of these devices are regularly compared and shared between the US and Russian radiation experts, their current proximity will allow close comparison of their results and performance for the duration of at least a month.  TEPC, which has a power draw of 7.5 W, has been approved for and used multiple times in the SM.]

The FE reconfigured the Russian telephone/telegraph subsystem (STTS) from its primary string, used for the Soyuz TMA-5 relocation, back to nominal mode on the backup string.   [The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 Docking Compartment and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM s outside.  There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel.  Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support.]

A major activity for Leroy Chiao was the inventory/audit of available food rations in the station s pantry , to actualize the IMS (inventory management system) database and enable a more realistic assessment of the critical food situation by resupply planners on the ground for up-to-date manifesting on the next Progress mission (16P, arriving 12/26).   [In case of additional time required for the inventory, Leroy was given the OK for using time not required for the computer supplies audit scheduled for him yesterday and today (supported by tagup with the ground).]  

In the Russian segment (RS), Salizhan Sharipov reactivated the TEKh-25 payload hardware, consisting of the Skorpio and Spika-S experiments that he had powered off on 11/28 in preparation for the Soyuz relocation.   [Skorpio's objective is to monitor environmental radiation parameters with dosimeters inside station compartments at various places and to characterize environmental conditions for conducting scientific and technical experiments.  To operate, Skorpio requires about 6 W of energy.  The Spika-S payload investigates the influence of the space environment, primarily radiation, on selected commercial electronic next-generation components.  Early Spika experiments on the Mir space station go back as far as 1992.  Its electronics unit, located in the SM working compartment (panel 417), uses about 7 W power, running either in Acquisition or Monitoring mode, and storing its data on a PCMCIA (portable computer memory card international adapter) card.]

Starting another round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, Salizhan performed a one-hour inspection and cleaning of Group A ventilator fans and grilles in the SM, supported by tagup with ground specialists.  When cleaning the screens, he also was to photograph the fans with the Nikon D1 for ground inspection of behind-panel views and fan screen contamination.

Spending a second hour on the SM ventilation system, the FE replaced its four dust filter cartridges (PF1-4) and discarded the old units.  (Last time done: 11/8).

In addition, Salizhan completed the regular daily maintenance/inspection of the SM's environment control & life support systems (SOZh) and prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) Delta file for export/import to the IMS databases.

The crew performed their daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, CEVIS cycle and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer.  Salizhan s daily protocol currently prescribes 1.5 hrs on the treadmill and one hour on VELO.

Afterwards, the CDR transferred the daily TVIS and RED exercise data files to the MEC (medical equipment computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) data, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

TsUP/Moscow is continuing the new extensive test run on the SM s ASN-2401 antenna hardware of the Russian ASN-M satellite navigation system, now involving the combined system.  Today s testing centered on actual onboard determination of the station s state vector (SV, position, velocity, time) from the satellite navigation antennas.   [Although not operational yet, ASN uses GLONASS satellites (the Russian GPS equivalent) to update the SV without using the ground (which up to now has to uplink daily SV updates) or requiring SV transfers from the U.S. segment (USOS) from time to time.]

Station flight attitude continues to be earth-oriented LVLH TEA ( barbecue mode ), until 12/13, when ISS maneuvers to sun-pointing XPOP.

Update on U.S. GPS/SIGI failures:  The two antenna assemblies AA-2 and AA-4 of the station s GPS equipment continue to be unusable for measurements for the U.S. SIGIs (Space Integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems).  A swap between its two power strings performed yesterday on AA-4 in case the problem lies in the power supply was unsuccessful.  Analysis continues.  If the antenna electronics is failed, the entire assembly will have to be replaced with a spare ORU via EVA.  With only two of four GPS antennas operational, SIGI can no longer provide station attitude data.  While attitude can still be propagated (calculated forward) by U.S. assets, based on RGA (rate gyro assembly) data, attitude filter updates from the Russian assets are required every other day or so.  State vector determinations, however, require only one AA and can still be provided by SIGI.

Update on U.S. laptops:  Yesterday, the CDR reported the death of the OpsLAN laptop SSC2 (station support computer #2) at its location at the SM Central Post (CP) where it was used for accessing procedures, OSTP (Onboard Short-Term Plan), messages, etc.  This leaves only one other IBM 760XD SSC in operation, used as SSC1 in Sharipov s sleep station.  The plan is to move it to the CP to take SSC2 s place, and borrow another SSC for the sleep station if the crew desires.  SSC2 will be marked as suspect and stowed.  There are still A31p ThinkPad NGLs (next generation laptops) on board, and three more will arrive on Progress 16P, along with power supply equipment allowing their use on power outlets in the RS.

Update on EMU 3005:  The solid shim located by the crew will not be used for repairing the water pump of EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) 3005 since it has not been recertified.  A new shim has been manifested on 16P for the spacesuit R&R.

Previous Reports

ISS On-orbit Status [HQ]
ISS Status [JSC]
Shuttle Processing [KSC]

Update on Consumables:  (1) Food: as of 11/29, food stores on board comprised 93 rations (in 47 containers).  The 72-ration skip cycle limit will be reached on 12/8, i.e., much earlier than expected due to higher consumption than planned (1.18 rations per crewmember per day actual vs. 0.95 planned).  Today s carefully prepared food audit by the crew will provide more reliable data.  For increased margin, the updated Progress 16P manifest lists two additional containers with Russian food and five additional containers of U.S. food, for a total of well over 200 rations.  (2) Water: supplies are also running low; the 45-day skip cycle limit (180 kg) will be reached about two days before arrival of 16P, which is to deliver ~464 kg water.  (3) LiOH:  Russian lithium hydroxide canisters, as backup CO2 absorbers, will be below the 15-day reserve (to support a Vozdukh repair) by the end of this year because 14 canisters (20.29 days worth) will reach expiration of their certified lifetime on 12/31/04.  However, the 15-day limit was written before the U.S. CDRA became operational and will have to be reassessed by Safety personnel.  LiOH resupply is not planned by Moscow for 17P (and probably also 18P) due to availability of sufficient redundancy for CO2 removal.  (4) Propellants: supplies are above planning because orbital decay and reboost consumption have been less than projected (ISS prop. quantity = 3770 kg; 16P delivery: 750 kg).  (5)  Available O2 supply has not changed (remaining in 15P: ~8 kg O2).  (6) All other consumables are also in good shape.

Today's CEO photo targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude, were Muglad Basin fans, SW Sudan (this nadir overpass provided an opportunity for detailed mapping of these megafans.  High-resolution imagery of stream and vegetation patterns is useful for individual fan identification and assessment of habitat quality), Phoenix, AZ (weather was predicted to be clear over the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Detailed mapping swaths across the urban-rural fringe are useful for land cover change detection analyses), and Rocky Mountain Snowfall, Western USA (Dynamic Event.  Strong snowstorms have left a blanket of snow over much of the western United States.  Imagery of snow cover in the Rocky Mountains is useful for modeling of hydrologic processes [snowmelt] and regional climate studies).

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites:

See also the website "Space Station Challenge" at:

To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 10 crew visit:

Expedition 10 Flight Crew Plans can be found at

Upcoming Key Events: 

  • Progress 15P undocking & destructive reentry -- 12/23;
  • Progress 16P launch -- 12/24;
  • Progress 16B docking -- 12/26;
  • EVA-12 -- January 2005 (1/27?).

ISS Location NOW

Full Size/Update
Real Time ISS Tracker - More Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:12am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude -- 356.2 km
  • Apogee height -- 359.1 km
  • Perigee height -- 353.4 km
  • Period -- 91.66 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0004224
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -61.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours -- 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 34475


ISS Altitude History

Apogee height -- Mean Altitude -- Perigee height

ISS Altitude History

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see In addition, information on International Space Station sighting opportunities can be found at on NASA's Human Spaceflight website. The current location of the International Space Station can be found at at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Additional satellite tracking resources can be found at

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