Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Jan 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
January 15, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 Jan 2004

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

FE Alexander Kaleri began search-and-gather activities for equipment required for making hard-wire connections between the Progress 12P’s Kurs-A antenna (AKR-VKA) and the SM’s Kurs-P system.  [This internal test set-up is used for checking out the Kurs-P radio system via hard-wire instead radio frequency linkage.  Kurs-P(passive)will be needed for the upcoming docking of Soyuz 8S, and Kurs-A (active) in Progress 12P will be removed prior to the cargo ship’s undocking and deorbit.  Today’s search involved an antenna amplifier and various necessary cables.]

CDR/SO Michael Foale began today’s FOOT experiment (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight), his second session, by donning the specially instrumented LEMS (lower extremity monitoring suit) pants garment, setting up the video equipment for taping his subsequent EMG calibration on VTR, opening the Lab nitrogen (N2) valve and then conducting the data collection session during the day.  After the FOOT ops, the N2 valve was closed again.  [Wearing the black Lycra biking tights with 20 electrodes and shoes fitted with insoles that measure impact forces on the bottom of the foot for the 12-hr session, Foale first performed electromyography (EMG) calibration (i.e., electric muscle currents recording) on the right arm and leg, then completed a typical on-orbit day while his reaction forces against the ISS structure were recorded passively on 14 channels to determine how much stress his legs and feet endure.  This provides better understanding of the bone loss and muscle mass loss experienced by astronauts in zero-G (on Mir, for example, cosmonauts lost as much bone mass in a month as post-menopausal women do in a year).  Prior to and following TVIS exercise he needed to perform a standing calibration with three marker button presses, to allow the ground to identify if sensors have shifted during exercise.  During standing calibration he was to stand up as straight as he would in 1G, keeping knees straight and heels on the footplates.  At the end of the day, he was to check whether EMG electrodes have come loose during the preceding activities.  The experiment, which is led by the biomedical engineering department at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, was also conducted by Ken Bowersox during Increment 6.]

Alex Kaleri spent some time transferring personal items from the USOS (U.S. segment) to the RS (Russian segment) for the upcoming segment isolation period.  On the ground, preparations are continuing for the exercise, which is intended to rule out any other small leaks that may be present and gain experience for similar events in the future.  The current plan is to start the isolation tomorrow (1/16) and re-open everything no later than just before the crew’s sleep time on Sunday.  Concerns about emergency procedures in case of rapid depressurization of the SM or isolated modules are being addressed in joint talks between Houston and Moscow.  [The plan is to isolate the ISS into four segments, viz.: (1) US Lab; (2) Node+Airlock+PMA-1; (3) FGB; and (4) SM+Progress+DC-1+Soyuz.  Potential tasks for the crew for the weekend during isolation in the RS include some more PCS (portable computer system) hard-drive ghosting and completion of MFMG (miscible fluids in microgravity) experiment preparations.]

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

The CDR terminated the 24-hr charging process for EMU batteries #2032 and #2033 in the Airlock (A/L)’s battery stowage assembly (BSA), then initiating their discharge after the required one-hour rest period, during which the units remained in the BSA.  [The periodic (50-day) charge/discharge cycle is a common maintenance requirement to restore the batteries’ capacity, prolonging their useful life.]

The FE conducted the periodic visual inspection of the pressure hull in the SM Working Compartment (RO), today behind panels 130, 134, 135, 138 and underneath the TVIS treadmill, looking for any moisture, deposits, mold, corrosion and pitting.  [Sasha inspected the hull surface, which is coated with a primer and dark-green enamel, using cleaning napkins to wipe the area in question if required and reporting results to the ground.]

Kaleri also performed the regular routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems and prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for updating the IMS database.

The crew performed their regular physical exercise on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS ergometer and VELO bike with force loader.

Detailed imagery of the electrical J connector with the cracked solder on the VRIV in the Airlock (A/L), which Mike discovered during A/L isolation on 1/11, has been examined by ground engineers and found intact.  Next step was for the ground to command a checkout of the VRIV after Mike has double-checked that the emergency MPEV (manual pressure equalization valve) is closed.  [Even in the event of a powered pin shorting to ground, the PCA (pressure control assembly) and/or the RPC (remote power controller) would trip, thus safing the unit.]

Mike Foale’s planned activity on the Lab window for the air pressure check and evacuation of the “Volume D” space between the window’s pressure panes was deferred to a later date, because of concerns about flash condensation.  The activity will probably have to await the arrival of the new jumper on Progress 13P. [In addition to the two pressure panes, the window has an outer debris protection pane and an inner scratch protection pane.  The pressure of “Volume D” was to be determined with an arrangement of the FSS (fluid system servicer) equipment, the ISA (internal sample adapter) and a VAJ (vacuum access jumper).  The procedure would then have vented the pressure overboard through the Lab VRIV (vacuum relief isolation valve).]

Mike downlinked photographs of an A/L closeout panel that shows scratches.  Engineers are analyzing the cause of the damage.

At 10:05am EST, the crew conducted an interactive educational PAO exchange with students at Fairmount Elementary School in Bangor, ME. [About 400 fourth and fifth grade students from Bangor public schools were in attendance, plus a diverse group of local VIPs and media representatives.  Fairmount Elementary is focusing on the theme “Centennial of Flight” to meet its state science learning requirements.  Throughout the year, teachers will extend NASA research-based methods to the classroom to encourage students to aim high in their academic and lifetime goals. The program especially targets students from under-served communities.]

Today’s CEO targets, in the current XPOP attitude constrained by flight rule to fewer near-vertical targets due to Lab window shutter closure and current condensation-prevention plan (see above), wereMelbourne, Australia (Melbourne stretches across the north coast of a major bay), Cape Town, South Africa (nadir pass), Lake Eyre, Australia (looking right for the vast, white lake floor.  The amount of water in Australia’s largest continental basin is declining since the major inflows in early 2003),Internal waves, offshore Chile(Dynamic event.  For the first time the US Navy is mapping zones of internal waves worldwide. Internal waves are generated mainly on the margins of continental shelves and induce visible surface effects. Handheld images are useful in this effort due to (1) oblique sunglint views that clearly reveal these “packets” of parallel features and to (2) the crew’s ability to recognize internal waves in regions where they are unknown.  For this site, the crew was asked to look half left towards the glint disc and the coastline), andPlankton bloom, Argentina(Dynamic event.  Looking left and right for this major bloom that stretches 2000 km along the coast of Patagonia).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:30pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is poweredOn.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode).  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 incomplete).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.9; ppO2 (mmHg) — 159.4; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 4.5;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 736; temperature (deg C) — 20.0.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 730.53; temperature (deg C) — 24.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 732.09; temperature (deg C) — 24.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 733.79; temperature (deg C) — 23.7; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.1, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.0
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 11.1.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (suntracking) and bias-angled for drag reduction. 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 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:3637 kg (8018 lb) as of 1/1/04 [SM(755) + FGB(2530) + Progress M(352) + Progress M-1(0)].  (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:

  • 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).

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 MBS PDGF #1/LEE B, with Keep Alive (KA) power 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, 6:39am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 370.7 km
  • Apogee — 376.2 km
  • Perigee — 365.3 km
  • Period — 92.0 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008031
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29420

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

SpaceRef staff editor.