Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 August 2004

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

SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2004) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.   Underway: Week 16 in space for Expedition 9.  

CDR Padalka worked on the Russian harmful impurities removal system (BMP), starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system.   [Regeneration of each of the two beds takes about 24 hours.]

Afterwards, the CDR performed the regular daily inspection of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.   [The experimental seeds of two types of peas (a flagellate variety with reds flowers, up to 27 cm high, and an acacia-leaf variety with white flowers, up to 20 cm high) are planted between wicks in a root tray, with environmental control powered on.  Regular daily maintenance of the experiment involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.]

FE/SO Fincke meanwhile conducted another BCAT-3 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 3) photography session.   [After setting up the SGSM (slow growth sample module) B at the Lab MWA (Maintenance Work Area), Mike conducted the video recorded demo by photographing samples 8 to 10 with the Kodak 760 digital still camera, using an uplinked new procedure for fine focusing.  The images were then stored on a PCMCIA 1GB micro drive.  Mike stowed the samples and afterwards disassembled and also stowed the BCAT MWA hardware.]

Previous Reports

ISS On-orbit Status [HQ]
ISS Status [JSC]
Shuttle Processing [KSC]

After both crewmembers prepared for today’s scheduled EPO (Educational Payload Operations) demo by reviewing the training instructions for toys and music instruments (Blues Harp, Chicken Shake and Puzzles), they set up the Lab camcorder and recorded the subsequent demo of both of them performing the Chicken Shake.   [The Chicken Shake is an egg-shaped percussion instrument very similar to Cuban Maracas (only without the handles) that in Caribbean or South American orchestras are used in the percussion section to add to its variety of rhythms, textures and tone colors.  The Chicken Shake EPO aboard ISS is a project of the Maryland Science Center.  For more info check out .]

Later, Fincke held a teleconference with the Principal Investigator of the MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) payload.

Mike also completed the microbial analysis of the air and surface swab samples collected last week (8/11) with SSK (Surface Sampler Kit) on slides and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) in Petri dishes at the T+5d incubation point.  Microbial specimen data were then loaded into the MEC (medical equipment computer) and the analysis hardware taken down and stowed.   [All samples taken to date have tested nominal.  Because of downmass limitations imposed by the Shuttle stand-down, the SSK and MAS samples cannot be returned to the Microbiology Lab for further analysis on the ground but are discarded as wet trash after the analysis.  The archival air samples taken by the CDR on 8/13 in the FGB, SM and LAB using the DST (Dual Sorbent Tubes) and Russian AK-1M hardware are to be returned on Soyuz 8S.]

Gennady completed the daily routine inspection of the SM’s SOZh life support system, which today included the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus, while Mike performed the standard routine checkup of the autonomous PCG-STES010 payload in the Lab.

The FE held the regular (every other week) privatized voice conference with the CSA (Crew Support Astronaut) team.

Working off the discretionary Russian task list, Gennady conducted his fourth session with the biomedical MBI-9 “Pulse” experiment, preceded by setting up the equipment.  These cardiological tests are done monthly.  [Execution of the medical cardiological assessment is controlled from the Russian payload laptop, using a set respiration rate (without forced or deep breaths) and synchronizing respiration with computer-commanded “inhale” commands.  First, arterial blood pressure is measured with the “Tensoplus” sphygmomanometer, followed by the “Pulse” test to record the ECG (electrocardiogram) and a report to TsUP in the next comm pass.  After the test, laptop 3 is reconfigured to its original settings.]

Also from the task list, the CDR performed another session with the Uragan (“hurricane”) earth-imaging program, using the Kodak 760 DSC (digital still camera) with 800mm-lens from SM windows.   [Today’s targets for his photo imagery were the city of Moscow, the Khazar natural deposit, and the city of Ashkhabad.]

Mike Fincke set up the SM’s amateur radio equipment and at 2:05pm EDT engaged in a ham radio exchange with students attending the Challenger Learning Center (CLC) at Prairie Aviation Museum in Bloomington, IL.  [This CLC is a not-for-profit educational organization offering an interactive simulated space science experience for students, public and corporate groups.  Each of the over 50 CLCs worldwide are chartered through the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, founded in Alexandria, VA, in 1986 by the families of the STS-51L/Challenger space shuttle mission.]

The crew worked out on their physical exercise machines (TVIS, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer).

The Elektron O2 generator failed again last Saturday (8/14) due to air bubbles in the BZh line.  It was restarted and is now being operated in 19 amps mode to match crew metabolic consumption.

The station continues to fly in XPOP attitude (X-axis perpendicular to orbit plane), pitch: 0.8 deg, yaw: -8.0 deg, roll: 0 deg, until 9/2, when it will switch to LVLH XVV in support of EVA-11, to return to XPOP on 9/4.
Major upcoming events:

Progress Cargo Vehicle Procedures

  • Progress Cargo Vehicle Transfer Operations, Part 1, Mission Operations Directorate, 10 August 2000 [English – Acrobat] [Russian – Acrobat]

  • Progress Cargo Vehicle Transfer Operations, Part 2, Appendix 1, Mission Operations Directorate, 10 August 2000 [English – Acrobat] [Russian – Acrobat]

    According to the introduction to these documents “this book is intended for performing cargo transfer operations in Progress and on stowing equipment in SM and Progress.” These documents contain diagrams and detailed procedures for the transfer of times from the Progress Vehicle currently docked with the ISS.

    • Progress 15P thruster tests — 8/18
    • ISS Reboost — 8/20 (delta-V = 1.5 m/s);
    • ISS Reboost — 8/25 (delta-V = 2.2 m/s);
    • EVA-11 — 9/3;
    • Soyuz 9S launch — 10/9;
    • Soyuz 9S dock — 10/11;
    • Soyuz 8S undock/land — 10/19;
    • Soyuz 9S relocate — 11/18;
    • Progress 16P launch — 11/24.

    Expedition 9 Flight Crew Plans can be found at

    Previous NASA ISS On-orbit Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Station Status Reports can be found here. Previous NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports can be found here. A collection of all of these reports and other materials relating to Return to Flight for the Space Shuttle fleet can be found here.

    Today’s CEO photo targets, limited in the current 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 Internal waves, Vietnam (the weather should have been good over Vietnam, so the crew was to try for internal waves off of the coast.  Sunglint was to the right and slightly behind the station during the overpass), Western Equatorial Atlantic (there are two storm systems forming up in this part of the Atlantic, and the crew may be able to capture one (or both) during the early stages of their development.  They may also have a good opportunity for internal waves during a clear period in the weather.  Looking right of track towards the coastline of South America for the best sunglint location), and Watershed, Red River Basin, USA (some high cumulus clouds might have formed by the time of the overpass over Texas.  Researchers do not have much good data for this basin and this overpass promised to have decent conditions for photography).

    CEO images can be viewed at these websites:

    See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at:

    To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 9 crew visit:

    U.S. & Russian Segment Status  (as of today, 11:43am EDT)

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

    • Elektron O2 generator is On (19A).  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Off.  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 & ppCO2 monitoring.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is in Life Extending Mode (LEM).  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 (SM panel mods completed 4/8; SKV-2 activation failed 4/20; is still considered failed).  SFOG slot #2 fan suspect (not usable).
    • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738; temperature (deg C) — 26.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — 164.0; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.1.
    • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 736; temperature (deg C) — 20.4.
    • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
    • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738.2; temperature (deg C) — 23.9 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 739.8; temperature (deg C) — 24.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 739.9; temperature (deg C) — 25.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • (n/a = data not available)

    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 angle).
    • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are on line in “Partial Charge” mode.  
    • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is off line; all other batteries (5) are on line in “Partial Charge” mode.

    Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Standby mode.

    Command & Data Handling Systems (C&DH)

    • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is backup, 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 (backup).
    • 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): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
    • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
    • FGB MDM-1 is Off (failed, 11/21/03); MDM-2 is Operational.

    Propulsion System (PS):

    • Total propellant load available: 4068 kg (8968 lb) as of 8/12/04;  [SM(552) + FGB(3516) + Progress M(0)].  (Capabilities: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

    Attitude Control Systems (ACS):

    • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed, since 6/6/02; CMG-2’s RPC-17 failed 4/21/04; was replaced 6/30/04).
    • 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 8/14 for brief free drift (Inertial), then back to XPOP until 8/18 for 15P thruster tests and reboost 1 & 2.  LVLH will be regained on 9/2 for EVA-11, then back to XPOP on 9/4.

    Communications & Tracking Systems (C&T):

    • 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 Location NOW

    Full Size/Update
    Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

    ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 11:04am EDT [= epoch]):

    • Mean altitude — 356.2 km
    • Apogee height — 359.9 km
    • Perigee height — 352.5 km
    • Period — 91.7 min.
    • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
    • Eccentricity — 0.0005477
    • Solar Beta Angle — -27.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
    • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
    • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 110 m
    • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 32781

    ISS Altitude History

    Apogee height Mean AltitudePerigee height

    ISS Altitude History

    For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see In addition, information on International Space Station sighting opportunities can be found at on NASA’s Human Spaceflight website. The current location of the International Space Station can be found at at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Additional satellite tracking resources can be found at

    SpaceRef staff editor.