Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 February 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
February 2, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 February 2005

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.

After wakeup (1:00am EST), FE Sharipov’s station inspection this morning included the regular monthly routine checkup on the DC1 “Pirs” docking modules AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in Fuse Panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.

Salizhan Sharipov later conducted a test session with the Russian TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 (PK-3) experiment payload. [Salizhan activated the turbopump in the Service Modules Transfer Compartment (SM PkhO), tagged up with ground specialists and started the evacuation of the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO), then uploaded new experiment software from a floppy disk that he prepared beforehand from an uplinked file. The turbopump was to be turned off tonight at ~4:25pm EST after repeated post-evacuation leak checks. The experiment will be performed in automated mode on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to study dust plasma crystallization processes at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles with subsequent reduction of HF discharge power, then to observe melting of the structures formed earlier.]

Previous Reports

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

CDR Leroy Chiao set up the hardware of EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students, EK) at the U.S. Lab’s science window for another run. [The CDR first updated the DCS 760 digital camera system with new firmware, then connected the selected SSC laptop to the DCS 760 and to the OpsLAN via broadband Ethernet cable. The first 4-5 orbits were used to test the new system, which uses an automated/remote-control process, i.e., the payload runs without crew intervention, except for a lens change halfway into the run. EK is using the DCS 760 with 50mm (f/1.4) lens, now powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research. The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to the IBM A31p laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the cameras storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OpsLAN.]

The FE retrieved the Motorola-9505 Iridium satellite phone from its location in the Soyuz TMA-5 descent module (DM) and initiated the monthly recharging of its lithium-ion battery, a 30-min. process. The charging was monitored every 10-15 minutes as it took place, and upon completion Salizhan returned the phone inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the DMs operational data files (ODF) container. [The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry and landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown. The Russian-developed new procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials with an NCR (Non-Compliance Report) valid for the particular satphone in question, i.e., for the remainder of this Increment, according to which it is no longer necessary to double-contain the phone in two CTBs (crew transfer bags) for recharging its lithium-ion battery. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fluoroplastic bag with open flap.]

The crew conducted the standard fit check of the Kazbeks, the contoured shock absorbing seats in the Soyuz TMA-5 (9S) descent capsule (SA). [This required them to don their Sokol pressure suits, get in their seats and use a ruler to measure the gap between the top of the head and the top edge of the structure facing the head. The results were reported to TsUP. Kazbek-U couches are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing. Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and noncocked. In the cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown. The fit check assures that the crewmember whose body gains in length during longer-term stay in zero-G, will still be adequately protected by the seat liners for their touchdown in Kazakhstan. TMA-5 serves as CRV (crew return vehicle) in the event of a contingency.]

Chiao updated fireport labeling in the U.S. Airlock by covering a redundant fireport with gray tape and moving its label to the alternate port. [Fireports are openings in console and wall panels for fire extinguisher nozzle insertion to reach behind-panel space.]

In a quasi-historic move, two years after the Columbia tragedy, the crewmembers were given the Go to begin cargo prepacking for the LF-1 Shuttle mission (STS-114), the first RTF (return-to-flight) checkout flight. The activity, which will continue, was supported by tagup with the ground and an overview plus preliminary prepack list uplinked overnight. [Return equipment will be put in designated bags and predominantly staged on the FGB floor and in one of the ZSRs (zero-G storage racks) in the Lab (LAB1P4), which is slated to return on LF-1. Main return items on the current list are eight Kurs electronics packages, with control units, amplifiers and antenna commutators from past Soyuz and Progress flights (from as early as 5S and 8P), RPCMs (remote power controller modules), ISSI (In-Space Soldering Investigation) hardware, and PuFF (Pulmonary Function in Flight) experiment gear.]

Leroy completed the routine SOZh/ECLSS maintenance in the SM, including the weekly inspection of the air/liquid condensate separator apparatus (BRPK). He also prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) delta file for export/import to the IMS databases. [The BRPK inspection is mostly concerned with the condensate in a CWC (contingency water container) and the EDV with water transferred from the KTV nonpotable water, to check for presence of air bubbles by removing the outer container cover and looking through the backlit transparent shell.]

The CDR/SO also checked the Total Dose reading and End File values of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter), which he had relocated to the Node yesterday, and called them down at the evening DPC (daily planning conference). [This is currently a daily requirement since the UOP (utility outlet panel) near the TEPC’s temporary location (for two weeks) does not allow automated telemetry monitoring by the ground.]

The crew performed their daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill (aerobic), RED exerciser (anaerobic) and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer (both aerobic and anaerobic). Salizhan’s daily protocol currently prescribes a four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the TVIS (today: Day 2 of a new set) and one hour on VELO.

Chiao then 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.

At ~12:05om, the crew downlinked a PAO video message dedicated to the 2nd Anniversary of the tragic loss of Columbia.

A new list of “Saturday Science” options for Dr. Chiao was uplinked for his selection later tonight. [The options for 2/5 are DAFT (Dust and Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test) review, software load and crew conference, HRF (Human Research Facility) Foot Kit Transfer, and a longer FMVM (Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement) experiment session.]

TsUP/Moscow conducted pressure checks (for leaks) on manifold #1 of the SM propulsion system (ODU). Meanwhile, manifold #1 was available in the event of an unplanned handover to Russian attitude control. [The checkout, which opened and closed the manifold’s KMG1 and KMO1 valves, did not require thruster firings.]

Early preparations are underway for the upcoming reconditioning of the 4B3 batteries on the P6 truss. Batteries 4B1 and 4B2 were successfully reconditioned in the past, but in the case of 4B3 there will be no capacitance test necessary. 4B3 reconditioning will start on 2/14. The three battery sets on the 2B channel will follow suit. [Nickel hydrogen batteries can develop and display memory loss resulting in a temporary reduction of capacity that must be periodically erased by cycling all material by fully discharging and recharging cells. This is called reconditioning. The battery does not “know” about its memory loss: its SOC (state of charge) reported on telemetry downlinks does not include the effect of this reduced capacity.]

The station continues to fly “sideways” in earth-fixed LVLH YVV attitude (local vertical local horizontal/y-axis in velocity vector) until 2/8 (Tuesday) when it maneuvers to sun-oriented XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) as the solar Beta angle dips below -60 deg magnitude.

The first volume (402 pages) of “Rockets and People” (Rakety i lyudi), the remarkable memoirs of 93-year old Russian space pioneer Academician Boris E. Chertok, has now been published, with the support of the ISS Program Office, by the NASA HQ History Division.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) photo targets, no longer limited in the current LVLH attitude, were Po Valley, Italy (Dynamic Event. A break in cloud cover over northern Italy provided an opportunity for photography of the Po Valley. The city of Vicenza located within the valley has declared a weeklong ban on automobile use in an attempt to improve air quality. Imagery of the Vicenza region, particularly of haze or air pollution, will be useful for assessment of any visible effects of the automobile ban), and Stardust landing area, Utah (the Stardust comet sample return capsule will land in Utah next year. Imagery of surface water within the landing ellipse is necessary to assess the potential for a water landing. Looking to the left of track for the target area; overlapping mapping swaths will be most useful for landing area characterization).

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

Previous NASA ISS On-orbit Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Station Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports can be found here. A collection of all of these reports and other materials relating to Return to Flight for the Space Shuttle fleet can be found here.

Upcoming Key Events:

  • Progress M-51 (16P) undocking & destructive reentry — 2/27/05;
  • Progress M-52 (17P) launch — 2/28/05.
  • EVA-13 — 3/25/05;
  • Soyuz TMA-6 (10S) launch — 4/15/05 with Expedition 11 (CDR Sergei Krikalev, FE/SO John Phillips);
  • Soyuz TMA-5 (9S) undock — 4/25/05 with Exp. 10 crew (after 193 days on orbit, 191 days on board ISS);
  • Progress M-53 (18P) launch — 6/10/05;
  • Progress M-54 (19P) launch — 8/24/05;
  • Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) launch — 9/27/05.

ISS Location NOW

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Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:54am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 357.5 km
  • Apogee height — 364.0 km
  • Perigee height — 351.0 km
  • Period — 91.69 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0009636
  • Solar Beta Angle — -67.0 deg (magnitude increasing, peaking tomorrow)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.70
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 75 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 35434

ISS Altitude History

Apogee height Mean AltitudePerigee 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

SpaceRef staff editor.