Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 Jan 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
January 1, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 Jan 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  New Year’s Day — an off-duty day for the crew.  [Houston Flight Control: “Thank you both for your part in wrapping up another successful year of ISS operations.  We appreciate your hard work day after day, your cheerful demeanors, and most of all the opportunity to be here with you as we make history together.”]

Early in the morning, FE Alexander Kaleri paid a quick visit to the DC-1 “Pirs” docking module to conduct his third regular (monthly) inspection of AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel — they should all be On — and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of the 14 fuses in Fuse Panels BPP-30 & BPP-36 (last time done: 12/2).

Sasha also performed the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh life support system (which includes ASU toilet facilities).

CDR/SO Michael Foale started battery recharging for the “Pilobolus” scopemeter that he had used last week for taking pressure and temperature measurements in the Lab.

The FE worked on the Molniya-SM/LSO payload, which he had set up on SM window #3, rebooting the EGE-1 laptop and configuring it for unattended use, starting today and ending 1/4.  [Objective of Molniya-SM, similar to the French LSO experiment, is to record storm phenomena and other related events in the Earth’s equatorial regions.  The experiment is controlled from the French EGE-1 laptop, loaded with orbital sighting predictions using an up-to-date NORAD tracking TLE (two-line element) provided by NASA.  Objective of LSO is to study rare optical phenomena occurring in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, so-called “sprites” (i.e., puzzling glow phenomena observed above thunderstorm clouds).  LSO was originally part of Claudie Haigneré’s French “Andromeda” payload package of taxi mission 3S that could not be performed as planned during Increment 4 due to an ISS flight attitude conflict.]

The Science Officer was thanked for his teleconference yesterday with the PFMI (Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation) developers and for his “fantastic” repair of the PFMI thermal; chamber gradient stage primary gear assembly.  [Mike succeeded in making the gears rotate freely, suggesting to remove a thick Teflon disk behind the gear, leaving a thin Teflon disk, to reduce friction in the gear train.  The ground is looking forward to the upcoming PFMI sample run next week.]

Both crewmembers worked out with their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise, on TVIS treadmill, RED expander, and VELO cycle with load trainer.

At 5:50pm EST tonight, ISS attitude control will be handed over to the Russian segment (RS) motion control system, and at 6:00pm the station will maneuver from the current solar-oriented XPOP attitude (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) back to the earth-“fixed” LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal).

For today’s CEO (crew earth observations) sessions, the ground uplinked a list of target cities as potential photographic opportunities at the crew’s discretion.

For yesterday and today, MCC-H also uplinked a list of viewing opportunities for the crew to observe the extensive earthquake devastation in Iran at Bam.

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 11:49am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 369.6 km
  • Apogee — 373.8 km
  • Perigee — 365.4 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000628
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 120
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29204

For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

Message from TsUP to Crew:  “Happy New Year to you from the Russian planning team!  We wish you good health, success in your work, good spirits, luck, and well being to your families.  We are always thinking of you, and we will try to help you in our not very easy but very honorable job!” (Second that!)

Stshastiya, zdoroviya i udatshi v Novom godu!

SpaceRef staff editor.