Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Apr 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 13, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Apr 2004

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

A busy day on the station, starting out with blood analyses for both crewmembers before breakfast, using the periodic Russian MedOps test MO-10 “Hematocrit” and U.S. PCBA (portable clinical blood analyzer) to measure the red cell count (hematocrit) of their blood.  Each test took ~10 minutes, and afterwards FE Kaleri stowed the equipment.   [The testing is part of the “PHS (Periodic Health Status) with blood labs” exam.]

After breakfast (2:55am EDT), Alex Kaleri performed time synchronization between the Matryoshka payload server (BSPN) and the ISS “Wiener” power computer, after setting up the laptop with the exact time as per the station clock, which in turn is synchronized daily from RGS (Russian ground sites).  Support was provided by a tagup with ground specialists.

After switching the regenerated filter bed #1 of the SM’s harmful impurities removal unit (BMP) back to Purify mode last night, Kaleri started the regen cycle on filter channel #2.   [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  The regeneration of channel #2 is to be terminated shortly before sleep time tonight (5:15pm EDT).]

CDR/SO Michael Foale set up the new HEAT experiment module (EM) in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), after printing out the uplinked revised Emergency procedure and familiarizing himself with the payload.   [HEAT is one of three experiments of the ESA VC-6 (Visiting Crew 6) “Delta” science program that are performed in the U.S. segment (USOS).  Investigating heat transfer performance of grooved heat pipes and validating an existing hydraulic math model of the internal heat transfer process, it consists of a liquid ammonia (NH3) coolant heat pipe inside the EM and a kit with experiment accessories.  Running unattended (but monitored), its results are being recorded in the MSG computer for downlink from the USOS.  HEAT will be removed from MSG on 4/22 by VC/FE André Kuipers and its hardware disposed of.]

The Flight Engineer ingressed the Soyuz-213 Descent Module (SA) for the major IFM (in-flight maintenance) job on the failed KhSA cooling/drying unit’s primary fan (VD1), which he prepared for yesterday.  The work was completed, but no word yet on testing.   [The fan failed on 10/18/03 during the 7S free flight.  During today’s elaborate work in very cramped space, scheduled with 5.5 hrs crewtime, Alex readied the spare fan assembly from FGB stowage and subjected it to a powered functionality check.  He disconnected cables to the failed fan and removed it from its mounting, then installed the replacement unit and its cabling.  Afterwards, he restored the crew seats to their original positions, with secured foot restraints and slack parachute jettison cable, transferred the Sokol safety suits back into the SA, and checked out all systems for their readiness for deactivation.]

Meanwhile, in preparation for Increment 9, Mike Foale conducted a checkout of the RGS television system and the Russian segment (RS) TV data link, with a test downlink from the LIV video cameras during Daily Orbit 4 (DO4), initiated by the SPP (automated time sequencer).   [For the downlink, Mike took views of the Service Module (SM) interior, switching cameras on TsUP Go.]

Later, the CDR attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities).  He also conducted the periodic checkout the IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways and FGB-to-Node hatchway (last time done: 3/31).

Foale completed his 18th weekly filling-out of the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on the medical equipment computer (MEC). 

Mike had another hour reserved for his daily departure preparations for the crew return on 4/29.

Both crewmembers worked out with their regular daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill and RED exerciser.

Foale completed the monthly maintenance of the CEVIS (cycle ergometer with vibration isolation), which deals mostly with an examination of the wire rope isolators for damage.

On DO3, at 4:30am EDT, the crew downlinked a TV message of greetings to Baikonur/Kazakhstan, for a press conference on the occasion of the 40th

anniversary (on 4/25) of the Cosmodrome’s measurement complex (IKK), workplace of Baikonur’s test engineers.   [“…For us, Baikonur is not only a launch site into space, it’s a part of the considerable history of our country in space science… We frequently recall the hospitable and cordial workers of Baikonur, the ground site, and the historical room of the unit of Pad 18 (the “Finnish cottage”), where in keeping with long-standing tradition we left our autographs and wishes to the measurement complex operational crews…”]

Update on Soyuz TMA-4/8S:   At Baikonur, the 8S prime crew (Gennadi Padalka, Michael Fincke, André Kuipers) and backup crew (Salizhan Sharipov, Leroy Chiao, Gerhard Thiele) arrived today from Star City by GCTC’s Tupolev aircraft for final training for their flight to the ISS on 4/18 (11:18pm EDT).

Update on CMG-3:   As reported, Control Moment Gyroscope 3 has exhibited a low lubrication condition, which could lead to its failure.  In order to troubleshoot this condition, tomorrow (4/14, 6:00am EDT) the gyro will be disconnected from the attitude control loop through 4/17 (10:00pm).   [During this period, attitude control will be done on two CMGs (##2 & 4), and the “Loss of CMG Attitude Control” warning of the C&W (caution & warning) system will be suppressed, but this conditionautomatically triggers ahandover toRS thruster control. If this auto handover is successful, no action will be required from the crew.  If not, the crew will be alerted to support “Loss of CMG Attitude Control” procedures.  Near-continuous space-to-ground communications via TDRS have been scheduled for the test, so ground engineers will be available to help with any off-nominal MCS (motion control system) situations.  Historical Reminder on CMG-1: CMG-1, one of the four 800-lb. CMGs, failed with loud “grinding” noises on 6/8/02, apparently flying apart inside its housing in the Z-1 truss atop the Node.  The gyros nominally spin at 6600 RPM.]

Of interest to the CEO (Crew Earth Observation) program, spring weather in North America is frequently accompanied by severe thunderstorms producing strong winds, hail, and tornadoes.  In the coming weeks the crew will be on the lookout for the rapid development of spectacular cloud formations associated with such weather, especially in the afternoons (3 to 7pm EDT) over the southern and eastern Great Plains. 

Today’s CEO targets, limited in XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the science window, which is available for only ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing forward (in “ram”), were Berlin, Germany (with a rare break in the weather over the European Plain, the crew may just have caught views of the German capital on their first of two midday passes), Aral Sea (more good views of the Aral Sea are possible this pass to the right of track.  Continuing to map the shorelines), Tunis, Tunisia (looking slightly left of track for the Tunisian capital, situated on a small gulf on the northeast coast of the country), Labrador Ice Floes (DYNAMIC EVENT: A persistent offshore flow over the coast of Labrador has cleared the skies revealing massive ice floes hugging the shoreline.  Looking well left of track for views of these beautiful dynamic features), and Red River Flooding (DYNAMIC EVENT: Continuing to look for opportunities to document the ongoing seasonal flooding in this region. Sun glint was possible right of track).

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, 1:52pm EDT).

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 Regeneration mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On, SKV-2 is Off (SM panel mods completed 4/8; SKV-2 activation TBD).  SFOG slot#2 fan suspect (not usable).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — 160.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.2;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 772; temperature (deg C) — 23.3;
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 759.79; temperature (deg C) — 24.6 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761.48; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 761.68; temperature (deg C) — 28.1; shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • (n/a = data not available)
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a.

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (solar-tracking, “sun slicer”, i.e., drag reduction-biased by 47 deg).
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #6 is off-line (capacity restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Manual 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-2 MDM is prime; GNC-1 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-1 is On (primary), EXT-2 is Off.
  • 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 11/22/03).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22/03).
  • FGB MDM-1 is Off (failed, 11/21/03); MDM-2 is Operational.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 3884 kg (8563 lb) as of 4/8/04;  [SM(755) + FGB(2470) + Progress M-1(659)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed, since 6/6/02).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = “sun-fixed” [yaw: 0.5 deg, pitch: -9.0 deg., roll: 0 deg]), with CMG TA (thruster assist), until 4/14.

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 (may require a mask).
  • 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, operational on redundant string, off on prime.
  • MBS: KA (keep alive) 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, 6:24am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 364.0 km
  • Apogee — 371.3 km
  • Perigee — 356.6 km
  • Period — 91.82 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010908
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.68
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30815

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

SpaceRef staff editor.