Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 Apr 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 16, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 Apr 2004

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

No breakfast this morning for Flight Engineer Kaleri until after completion of saliva and blood sampling under the MBI-4 “Farma” biomedical experiment, using the Reflotron-4 equipment.  [Farma (“pharma”) researches particulars of pharmacological effects under long-duration space flight conditions, involving onboard analysis of blood and saliva samples after taking specific drugs, – today Efferalgan from the “Saliva-F” kit.  After ingesting the medication and rinsing carefully, Kaleri collected saliva samples at several times during the day, preserving them in the Russian Kriogem-03 refrigerator for analysis.  Blood parameters were also analyzed with the Reflotron 4, a clinical analyzer used for periodic biochemical analysis of blood (i.e., MO-11, done yesterday) and saliva to monitor crew health or to be used diagnostically on Flight Surgeon request.  The Saliva kit with samples will be returned on Soyuz-213/7S.] 

For his return to gravity, Alex Kaleri conducted the second preliminary training session in the “Chibis” LBNP suit (lower body negative pressure; Russian: ODNT), assisted by Mike Foale.  [For details, see status report 4/12.]

Later in the day, Sasha also prepared equipment and work area for his second session with the Russian biomedical “Pilot” experiment (MBI-15), which requires a worktable, ankle restraint system and control handles for testing piloting skill.  He then conducted the computer-based experiment and later deactivated, disassembled and stowed the gear.   [Sasha’s program, after checkout and calibration of the control handles, consisted of three flight control modes (fixed, slow and fast free-flyer), each one five times, supported by ground tagup via S-band.  Results were stored on HDD for return to the ground where they will be compared to those of Kaleri’s first session on 10/31/03 to help answer the question: How are piloting skills affected by long-term stay in zero-G?]

The crew started their third session of the NASA/JSC renal (kidney) stone experiment activities.   [Mike unstowed and set up the experiment hardware and performed an inspection of the available UCDs (urine collection devices) for damage and an inventory of the remaining equipment to ensure there is enough viable hardware on orbit for future increments.  The damaged UCDs were bagged for later return and analysis.  Both crewmembers began the first day of this session by starting their diet logs that record all foods and drinks consumed during the next 48 hours.  This long-range preventive medicine investigation features daily random ingestion of either potassium citrate or placebo tablets.  It is Dr. Peggy Whitson’s double blind research study investigating methods to prevent formation of kidney stones in zero-G.  The experiment requires keeping a metabolic diet log (food & fluid intake), followed by collection of urine samples several times per day during the weeklong session, with collections starting tomorrow.  To make up for the collection activities over the weekend, the crewmembers were today allotted off-duty time.]

Mike Foale signed in and performed his fourth and final session with the psychological MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) experiment.   [This is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmember’s or flight surgeon’s request.]

Both crewmembers had another hour each reserved for their departure preparations.  In addition, in the Service Module (SM) Kaleri unstowed the removable materials sample cassette SKK #1, which he had removed from the DC-1 docking compartment’s exterior during EVA-9 on 2/26, and packed it up securely in a cloth transportation cover for return in the Soyuz 7S Descent Module (SA).   [The final package was also imaged with the Kodak 760 for downlinking via OCA.]

On TsUP/Moscow “Go”, the FE was to perform another periodic replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for oxygen/hydrogen electrolysis.  [In this recently revised procedure, intended to prevent gas bubbles from getting into the BZh liquid unit, the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container is refilled with purified water from the multifiltration/purification column unit (BKO) and the air/liquid separator unit (GZhS) while checking for any air bubbles in the EDV (and, if visible, estimating their number).  Thus, the water, coming from the container via the water supply system’s BP pump unit, first has to pass through the BKO and GZhS before it is introduced into the BZh.]

The CDR collected the periodic reading of the cabin air’s current carbon dioxide partial pressure in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (CO2 monitor kit), for calldown to MCC-Houston (along with the battery status) for use in trending analyses.

Foale also prepared the daily IMS delta file for updating the inventory management system’s database and did the regular status checkup of autonomous Increment 8 payloads (PCG-STES, MAMS), while Sasha conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system (including ASU toilet facilities).

Mike was uplinked an updated version of the 7S “pre-pack” list, providing locations and packing instructions for U.S. items currently manifested for return on Soyuz-213.   [There are about 10 NASA return items included in the 7S downmass of >50kg, e.g., a crew personal dosimeter, DST dual sorbent tubes (6) with reference kit, TOC (total organic carbon) water samples, 24 FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) badges with reference kit, GSC (grab sample container) with a March sample, 16 local RAM radiation dosimeters, etc.]

  • Update on Soyuz TMA-4/8S:  At Baikonur, launch processing is proceeding on schedule.  Today, the upper stage assembly of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle containing the TMA-4 was mated with the launcher in the LV Assembly and Testing Facility. 
  • Update on Onboard Laptops:  A procedure was uplinked for replacing the faulty MPSD2 (multi-purpose support drive 2) IBM ThinkPad 760XD shell (#6060) with the shell of the EXPRESS Rack 2 (ER2) laptop by equipping the latter with the MPSD hard drive.   [The MPSD2 will be used as second IP (Internet Protocol) “phone home” unit.  The ER2 laptop shell is to be returned to POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) in time to support the next scheduled use of this laptop.]
  • Update on Plasma Contactor Unit 2 (PCU-2):  To correct yesterday’s report, PCU-2 has not been declared failed but only its upstream latch valve 1.  PCU-2 still can and will be used, albeit without valve redundancy.
  • Update on CMG-3:  The spin bearing thermo-lube test on Control Moment Gyroscope 3 is continuing.   [CMG-3 bearing temperatures have been trending as anticipated, with the bearing facing the EA (electronics assembly) yesterday warming slightly (~0.6 degC). SMCC (spin motor command current) has remained relatively steady so far. The CMG’s bearing positions were reversed this morning (~8:55am EDT), and the spin-motor side bearing is now oriented toward the EA.  Non-propulsive attitude control (AC) is being performed with CMG-2 and CMG-4 by XPOP Momentum Manager (MM), with no issues.  For the bearing re-orientation this morning, AC was briefly handed over to Russian MCS (motion control system), then returned to MM at 9:25am.  The lubrication test is being conducted to stimulate lubrication delivery to the bearings and provide insight into the health of each bearing.  It will conclude on 4/17 (~10:00pm).]
  • Soyuz TMA-4/8S (Expedition 9 + 1) flight plan:

    • Launch — 4/18, 11:19pm EDT (Moscow: 4/19, 7:19am; Baikonur: 4/19, 9:19am)
    • Docking — 4/21, 1:03am EDT (Moscow: 4/21, 9:03am)
    • Hatch Opening — 4/21, 2:25am EDT (Moscow: 10:25am).

    Soyuz TMA-3/7S (Expedition 8 + 1) flight plan:

    • Hatch Closing — 4/29, 1:34pm EDT (Moscow: 4/29, 9:34pm; Astana: 4/30, 12:34am)
    • Undocking — 4/29, 4:49pm EDT (Moscow: 4/30, 12:49am; Astana: 4/30, 3:49am)
    • Deorbit Burn — 4/29, 7:18pm EDT (Moscow: 4/30, 3:18am; Astana: 4/30, 6:18am)
    • Landing — 4/29, 8:09pm EDT (Moscow: 4/30, 4:09am; Astana: 4/30, 7:09am.

    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 (nadir pass with noon sun, ideal for documenting the margins of this densely wooded city), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (nadir pass.  Points of specific interest are to document any further expansion of the present [mostly unplanned] lakes, and the new agriculture along the shore of the first lake [nearest the Nile River]), Salamat Basin Fans, SE Chad (pass over the W end of this site: looking left for a good general view of this unique area where highly mobile fan rivers on the continental divide sometimes flow NW into the Chad basin, and sometimes southwest into the Congo basin), Chicago, Ill. (looking right for the urban region), Red River Basin (400mm-lens.  Shooting nadir shots along the banks of the Red River where soils are being mapped from handheld imagery), and Dallas, TX (looking right for the whole urban region).

    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, 1:51pm 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) — 26.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — 160.4; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.7;
    • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 757; temperature (deg C) — 20.4.
    • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 760; temperature (deg C) — 23.7;
    • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 759.16; temperature (deg C) — 24.4 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761.18; temperature (deg C) — 24.9; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 761.28; temperature (deg C) — 38.6; 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 #1 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: 3875 (8543 lb) as of 4/15/04;  [SM(755) + FGB(2461) + 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 4/21.

    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, 7:52am EDT [= epoch]):

    • Mean altitude — 363.7 km
    • Apogee — 371.1 km
    • Perigee — 356.3 km
    • Period — 91.82 min.
    • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
    • Eccentricity — 0.0010958
    • Solar Beta Angle — -40.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
    • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.68
    • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
    • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30863

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

    SpaceRef staff editor.