Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 15, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Feb 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Second weekend rest day for CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri.  Flight Control to Crew: “Mike and Sasha, enjoy your very well deserved day of rest; we do not have much for you today”.

Crew day actually began last night at 9:00pm EST and ended today at 12:30pm.   [This sleep cycle will be maintained through 2/19 for the EVA/Soyuz ingress demo.  On 2/20, end-of-sleep time will be extended two hours, to 11:00pm, with sleep begin slipping to 2:30pm.  This will again change one day later (2/21).]

Kaleri performed the daily routine maintenance on the SOZh life support system, comprising the water supply equipment, food supply subsystem (SOP), and sanitary hygiene equipment (SGO).   [Maintenance generally consists of inspection of fluid lines/connections and filter replacement.]

The FE’s maintenance tour today also included the weekly BRPK air/water condensate separator inspection.

Foale and Kaleri worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill and CEVIS cycle (aerobic), VELO ergometer with force loader and RED exerciser (anaerobic).  Kaleri is on a special Russian exercise regimen, on which he tagged up with Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) specialists via VHF.

Searching for “missing” equipment continues as an open item on the Russian “job jar” task list, for the crew’s discretionary time.  This includes looking for critical items required to support system operation that may be needed in the nearest future.   [An uplinked illustrated list of this equipment calls out a BRPK condensate separation & pumping unit, two manually operated pumps, a current regulator, a hose, a BKV water treatment unit, and an IPD Draeger tubes cartridge belt.]

Also working off the Russian task list, Kaleri used the Nikon-D1 with f17-70mm lens to take digital photographs of the Videometer target (TV camera calibration) and mounting attachments for the LSV-M laser retroreflectors to be installed outside the Service Module.  These items were delivered on 13/Progress-260 and are required for the EVA-9 on 2/26.

At 5:30am this morning, U.S. S-band comm was switched from HDR (high data rate)/String 1, with the normally used String 2 as a hot backup, to LDR (low data rate) on String 1 for a test.  At 6:47am, S-band was further transitioned to String 2/LDR for 30 minutes, then finally switched back to HDR/String 2 at about 7:30am.  The objective was to test LDR functionality.   [There was no S-band/audio capability from ~5:30am to 7:30am, but VHF comm performed nominally.]

One of the primary activities scheduled for the crew tomorrow (2/16) is gathering and laying out the replaceable components and auxiliary gear for the Orlan “skaphander” suits for the 2/19 training session and the 2/26 spacewalk, complete with fit checks.   [Required are portable O2 tanks (BK-3), storage batteries, LiOH canisters, moisture collectors, KVO liquid cooling garments, ShL-10 headsets, GP-10K gloves, BK-10 undergarments, socks, filters for FOR feedwater line, IK Orlan measurement unit and BOS degassing pump, etc.]

Other main activities tomorrow will be (1) the dynamic test of the Soyuz 7S MCS (motion control system) thrusters, starting at 3:44am (after attitude control handover to RS at 3:30am, return to USOS at 4:10, and resumption of LVLH YVV attitude at 4:20am, until 2/21), and (2) the deinstallation & removal of the valuable Kurs-A equipment from 13P.

The BCC (backup control center) Checkout originally attempted on 2/12 has now been rescheduled for tomorrow night, starting at 7:30pm EST and running for ~7 hours.  Purpose of the checkout is to demonstrate BCC functionality and provide proficiency training for HSG (Houston Support Group) personnel at the TsUP/Moscow HSR (Houston Support Room).   [As reported yesterday (see Status report 2/14), the 2/12 BCC C/O was only partially successful and was not completed.]

Today’s optional CEO targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, except for the shutter closure and condensation-prevention plan (limited to 90 min. in 24 hours), were Kure atoll, Hawaiian chain (400mm-lens.  This remote circular atoll comprises a coral reef 6 miles across, with one small island.  The western end of the Hawaiian island chain lies at the northern temperature limit of coral growth.  An expedition last year showed floating plastics from all parts of the world washed up on Kure’s beaches –“cigarette lighters, golf balls, toothbrushes, children’s toys, and fishing floats.”), Midway Island, Hawaiian chain (400mm-lens.  Also a coral atoll 6 miles across, Midway lies at nadir with A-shaped airfields on both small islands within the lagoon.  Detailed images requested), Lisianski reef, Hawaiian chain (400mm-lens.  The killing of great numbers of birds for feathers started in 1904.  In response to the ensuing public outcry, Theodore Roosevelt established the Hawaiian Island Bird Reservation in 1909.  Nadir pass for detailed images of the coral reef), Wake Island, Hawaiian chain (circled by a coral reef, the 4-mile-long lagoon contains a relatively large island with an air strip that accommodates more than 700 landing per year.  The US annexed Wake Island in 1899 for a cable station), Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River (the Three Gorges Dam will become the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, backing water 350 miles upstream.  The displacement of close to 1.9 million people is under way.  Construction began in 1994 and is scheduled to take 20 years and cost $24 billion), and Madras (Chennai), India (nadir pass over this historic port city of more than 7 million people, with its new high-tech sector).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:24am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 367.0 km
  • Apogee — 371.9km
  • Perigee — 362.2 km
  • Period — 91.89 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007136
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29906

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

SpaceRef staff editor.