Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 13, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 Mar 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Day 147 in space for Expedition 8 (145 days aboard ISS), and another weekend rest day.

As usual on Saturdays, the crew performed the weekly 3-hr. station cleaning.  [This includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

Working off the Russian discretionary task list, Alex Kaleri performed another session with the biomedical “Pulse” experiment (MBI-9), the fourth for the FE.  These tests are done monthly.  [Execution of the medical cardiological assessment is currently controlled from the borrowed SSC6 IBM 760XD laptop, using a set respiration rate (without forced or deep breaths) and synchronizing respiration with computer-commanded “inhale” commands.  Before the experiment, arterial blood pressure is measured with the “Tensoplus” sphygmomanometer.  After the test, he reported to MCC-M/TsUP and reconfigured laptop 3 to its original settings.]

Mike Foale performed the regular once-a-week maintenance reboot on the operational portable (PCS) laptops and also restarted the SSC OCA comm router laptop (normally every two weeks).

Kaleri continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS air ventilation systems, working in the Service Module (SM) to vacuum-clean the Group A fans and grilles.

The crew conducted the weekly planning conference with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners), via S-band/audio.

The FE performed the daily routine environmental control & life support systems (SOZh) maintenance in the Service Module (SM).

Mike and Sasha conducted their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS bike, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

Both crewmembers had their weekly PFCs (private family conference), Sasha via VHF/home phone, Mike on S-band.

Several “gyro underspeed” messages displayed by the TVIS treadmill control panel yesterday were traced to an inadvertently turned-off relay controlling three of the four VIS (vibration isolation system) stabilizers, so that a second relay, controlling both the gyro and the fourth stabilizer, drew additional power away from the gyro to compensate for the extra motion of the TVIS, thus decreasing the gyro’s RPMs.  This was corrected, and the treadmill is now running fine.
As work continues on the failed Elektron O2 generator, the crew today burned two SFOG (solid-fuel oxygen generator) candles.

Today’s optional CEO (Crew Earth Observations) 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 Floods, Southeast Australia (Dynamic event. Numerous river floodplains in the interior should appear flooded: looking right, and left towards the setting-sun glint point.  In the present precession pattern, Australia is only seen in daylight-awake mode for a few days per month with sufficient lighting for photography), Tuamotu Archipelago (ISS track followed the western of the two island chains in this archipelago.  Shooting detail of any atolls that pass near nadir), and American Samoa (these are the smaller islands just left of track.  The two large islands at nadir are part of Samoa, an independent nation.  Shooting coral reefs distributed around the islands.  American Samoa has a population of 70,000 who practice a traditional Polynesian economy in which more than 90% of the land is communally owned.  Economic activity is strongly linked to the US.  Tuna fishing and processing are the backbone of the private sector, with canned tuna the primary export.  Attempts by the government to develop a broader economy are inhibited by Samoa’s remote location, its limited transportation, and its devastating hurricanes.  Tourism, a developing sector, has been held back by the recurring financial difficulties in East Asia).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

SpaceRef staff editor.