Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 March 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 1, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 March 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.   Underway: Week 19 of Increment 8. 

The crew had a “light-duty” schedule today. 

After wakeup (1:00am EST) and morning inspection, FE Alexander Kaleri did a quick routine check in the DC-1 “Pirs” docking module, conducting his fifth 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: 2/2).

Later, Kaleri worked on the Elektron O2 generator, changing out three cables from the BZh Liquid Unit to the newly installed (1/22) BSSK Signal & Command Matching Unit between the Elektron and the station’s BITS 2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system.  The Elektron was then activated and is currently still operating nominally.  Total atmospheric cabin pressure this morning was 730 mmHg (torr), with 148-mmHg ppO2.   [After the installation of the new nitrogen purge unit (BPA-M) yesterday, three more troubleshooting steps are scheduled on recommendation from the special Russian Commission currently looking into the Elektron failures: (a) a nitrogen purge of the internal BZh lines, planned for tomorrow, (b) a pressure check on the BZh on Wednesday (3/3), and (c) an adjustment of the Elektron control algorithm, resetting (lowering) the limit pressure that triggers micropump failure (currently 0.65 atm, with an excursion last Saturday to 0.75 atm, i.e., 0.1 atm margin).  According to TsUP, Step (c) has not been tried before.  Should these steps fail to stabilize Elektron operation, the Commission has the option of recommending replacement of the BZh.]

CDR/SO Michael Foale performed the regular SOZh life support systems maintenance in the SM and attended to the regular routine status checkup of autonomous Increment 8 payloads in the Lab.

Kaleri completed his regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-4 greenhouse.

Sasha also terminated the bake-out cycle on the BMP micropurification system’s channel #2, moding the channel back to Purify.  After yesterday’s termination of regeneration on channel #1, this restored both filter beds to Purification/Absorption mode.

At 12:07pm EST, Mike set up and conducted a ham radio session with students at Armstrong Middle School in Flint, Michigan.   [Kearsley Community Schools is a suburban community of mostly middle class families located in Flint.  Because there is no city or town named Kearsley, the school district itself is the heart of the community.  Armstrong Middle School has approximately 950 students.]

Working off the Russian discretionary task list, Sasha performed another set of observations for the Diatomeya ocean research program, taking imagery of ocean areas depicting intensive phytoplankton blooming in the Atlantic Ocean in spring.   [The FE focused the Nikon F5 with f/80 mm lens from SM window #8 and the Sony DVCAM-150 digital camcorder, fixed on a bracket above window #7, from Cape Hatteras along the US coastline all the way down to the Amazon River, and on the Brazilian Current at the latitude of Montevideo.]

As a second task list item, Kaleri performed another round of Uragan earth observations, using the Kodak 760 electronic still camera (ESC) with the long f800 lens at windows #6-8 to make observations and take imagery of the Andes Mountains.

A third item added to the FE’s task list is the repeat of imaging the PKZ-1V Kromka experiment tablet deployed on the plume deflector of the SM’s plus-pitch thrusters. (Last time done: 1/3/04)  [The pictures are taken with the Kodak 760 digital still camera (DSC) from the EVA hatch 1 window in the DC-1 docking compartment.]

The long-awaited evacuation of the “Volume D” space between the Lab window’s pressure panes is scheduled for next Friday (3/5).

Also on 3/5, TsUP/Moscow will conduct the regular periodic efficiency test on the Russian segment (RS) solar arrays, starting at ~12:15pm.   [The periodic Russian efficiency testing keeps track of the energy-output performance of the photovoltaics over time under the degrading effects of the space environment (mostly from ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen)]

The external station survey with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras on 2/27 completed Part 1 of the task.  Part 2 will have to await repositioning of the RS solar arrays.

The first (of three) reboost maneuvers by Progress-260 (13P) prior to Soyuz 8S is scheduled to take place tomorrow (3/2) at 6:05pm.  It will be a one-burn maneuver of 2.2-m/sec delta-V.  The reboost will be preceded tonight by a dynamic test firing of the Progress thrusters on both manifolds, beginning at ~9:10pm EST on Daily Orbit 3 and continuing through DO 4.

After tomorrow’s reboost, station flight attitude will be changed to XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) again.

Correction to 2/28 report on EVA-9:   Only one (of two) SKK removable materials sample cassettes (#1) on the SM was retrieved and replaced with another (#3).  SKK #2 at that location was not replaced with #4.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):   This is the second day of a 3-week Trans-Atlantic cruise by the NOAA ship, Ronald H. Brown.  The ship left the Barbados yesterday heading SE.  Shipboard observations will be used to study the effect of Saharan dust on the marine boundary layer, characterize water masses, as well as to investigate upwelling conditions off the northwest coast of Africa.Further detail on the cruise is provided below.

Today’s CEO targets were Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (400mm-lens.  Detailed images were requested of the shorelines of the first new lake [new lake nearest Lake Nasser] to reveal the pace of road and agricultural field development in this region where 20 million people are expected to be supported by Nile-fed agriculture), Saharan dust (Dynamic event.  This east central Atlantic pass may reveal a dust margin in oblique images.  ISS/CEO images would support the Trans-Atlantic cruise of NOAA’s ship Ronald H. Brown [investigating the varied effects of Saharan dust on the atmosphere and ocean]), and Sao Paulo, Brazil (nadir pass).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of today, 1:50pm EST).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is On.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 and ppCO2 monitoring.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is in Life Extending Mode (LEM).  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On, SKV-2 is Off (repair now completed; to be tested ASAP).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — 143.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.8;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 19.8.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 728.56; temperature (deg C) — 22.7 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 739.87; temperature (deg C) — 25.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 740.07; temperature (deg C) — 23.5; shell heater temp (deg C) — 21.5, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 22.2
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 20.3

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Directed Position mode (blind/triple-angle mode, non solar-tracking, drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems:

  • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is back-up, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is Off (both now upgraded to R3).
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • PL-1 MDM is Off; PL-2 MDM is Operational.
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string 1 dropped out 11/22).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 4036 kg (8898 lb) as of 2/27/04  [SM(755) + FGB(2622) + Progress M(0) + Progress M-1(659)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH XVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -90 deg, pitch: -9 deg, roll: 1.7 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

Communications & Tracking Systems:

  • FGB MDM-1 is powered Off; FGB MDM-2 is operational.
  • All other Russian communications & tracking systems are nominal.
  • *S-band is operating nominally (on string 2).
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem is operating nominally (IAC-1 is prime, IAC-2 is off).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at Lab PDGF/LEE A, powered on both strings.
  • MBS: KA power on both strings. 
  • MT: latched and mated at WS4. 
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is On (DCP connected); Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:37am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 365.5 km
  • Apogee — 369.3km
  • Perigee — 361.6 km
  • Period — 91.85 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.6291 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.000575
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.68
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30142

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

SpaceRef staff editor.