Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 August 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
August 17, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 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.

CDR Padalka continued Progress 15P integration into Service Module (SM) systems by installing a “recycled” electronics box containing the US-21 matching unit, a 50-min. task.  The installation was later checked out electrically by TsUP-Moscow.   [The US-21 matching unit connects the SM with the Progress motion control and DPO thrusters systems, so that they can be commanded by the SM computer system (BVS).  After bolting the box down, Gennady hooked it up with the telemetry (TM) connector to the BITS2-12 onboard TM system, after the ground had inhibited data output to the VD-SU control system mode, powered off the BITS and deactivated Elektron, SKV-1 and BMP for about an hour.  These systems were subsequently turned back on by TsUP, which then conducted an electric activation test of the US-21 without crew involvement.]

With VD-SU and BITS still deactivated, Padalka opened two wall panels and prepared two IMU accelerometer telemetry connectors for mating, preparatory for upcoming acceleration measurements on Friday (see reboost 1, below).

As a third systems task, the CDR worked on the Russian ASN-M satellite navigation system by removing the NPM receiver module that he had installed on 8/6 for testing under real flight conditions.  This returned the ASN-2401 to its initial conditions for upcoming testing (8/24).  The NPM was stowed in Soyuz TMA-4/8S for return to Earth.  The work was supported by S-band tagup with ground specialists.   [When functioning, the ASN will use GLONASS satellites (the Russian GPS equivalent) to update the ISS’ state vector (SV) without using the ground (which up to now has to uplink daily SV updates) or requiring SV transfers from the USOS from time to time.  The ASN equipment was originally installed in the SM but was found faulty and had to be returned to the ground.  After repair it was shipped again to the station on Progress 11P and re-installed by Yuri Malenchenko on 7/8/03, followed by various troubleshooting attempts en suite.]

FE/SO Fincke continued 15P unloading and cargo inventory, using an updated TsUP list of transfer ops procedures.   [For safety, Mike was asked to pay special attention to U.S. batteries for possible damage to their Ziploc bags and any leakage of electrolyte.]

Using the MO-21 “Ecosfera” air sampler and incubation equipment, CDR Padalka monitored the station’s sanitary-hygiene status by conducting another 40-min. microbial analysis on the air samples collected on 8/10 and incubated since then in the MO-21 incubation equipment.   [MO-21 determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Gennady had an hour reserved to prepare existing onboard ODF (operations data file) books with new procedures and updates delivered on 15P.  [The updates involve books on Life Support System, Atmosphere Revitalization System, EVA from DC1 with cue cards for 2-man ops, Biotechnology Experiments, Medical Experiments, Russian EVA-11, Progress #350 Transfer Ops, Inflight Maintenance, and IVA.]

At ~4:30pm, Mike Fincke will confer with robotics specialists for a briefing on SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) activities scheduled for next Thursday (8/19).   [Purpose of the robotics maneuver will be to position the SSRMS tip LEE (latching end effector) and tip elbow camera for supporting the Russian EVA-11 on 9/3.]

In the SM, Padalka terminated the bake-out cycle on filter bed 1 of the Russian harmful impurities removal system (BMP), moding the channel back to Purify.  The BMP was then deactivated for the US-21 installation.  Subsequently, Gennady will initiate regeneration on filter channel 2.  [Regeneration of the air purifier filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

Mike completed the daily routine inspection of the SM’s SOZh life support system, while Gennady, working off the Russian discretionary task list, prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for updating the IMS database.

The crew completed their daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED (resistive exercise device) and VELO ergometer with load trainer. 

Mike also performed both weekly and monthly maintenance of the TVIS.   [Weekly maintenance generally checks the condition of the SPDs (subject positioning devices) and records time & date.  Monthly maintenance mainly inspects the Russian and US tie-down harnesses for any damage.]

In a TsUP/PAO event at 4:34am EDT, the crew sent down greetings for the 80th anniversary of the Russian magazine “Radio”, via Ku- & S-band.   [Background: The 80th anniversary of the popular science journal “Radio” is on 8/24 (Tuesday).  Throughout the entire history of Russian space exploration, beginning with the launch of Earth’s first satellite, Sputnik 1, the magazine has been connected with space.  “Radio” became the first periodical to publish the information about the upcoming launch of the first satellite and the description of the equipment for monitoring its “beep-beep-beep”.  The magazine helped the USSR Academy of Sciences to involve thousands of ham radio enthusiasts in this effort, and their observations made a significant contribution to that stage of space exploration.  In 1988, on the initiative and with direct participation of “Radio” editorial staff, the first amateur radio was delivered onboard the Mir space station.  Ham radio operation eventually became part of cosmonaut and astronaut training.  Later, this approach was carried over to the ISS.  “Radio” editors regularly meet with cosmonauts and publish materials about the work of the crews onboard.  Recent issues are part of the onboard library.]

Previous Reports

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

As another task list item, Gennady again performed a 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 Kursk nuclear power plant with water cooling reservoir, the Cossack village of Veshenskaya, the N coast of the Caspian Sea, the Aral lake and the Amu-Darya basin, the Rogunskaya hydroelectric power plant, mountain ranges near the Caspian S coast, the Red Sea coast, and the Huascaran volcano in Peru.]

The crew was thanked for yesterday’s highly successful EPO (Educational Program Operation) Chicken Shake demo.   [These are egg-shaped percussion instruments 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.  This payload is part of an alliance between NASA and several science centers around the U.S. (called the Museum Aerospace Education Alliance).  Members of the group are the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI; St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, MO; Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO; Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD; and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Columbus, OH.]

At ~3:30pm, the Science Officer is scheduled to tag up with the Principal Investigator (PI) of the CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment) payload to discuss upcoming activities.
This morning, the ground thanked Mike for his BCAT-3 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 3) photography yesterday and his willingness to acquire more science for POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)’s PIs.   [Fincke took a total of 153 photos documenting the formation of particle suspensions in homogenized liquids.]

For the next “Saturday Science” program, Mike Fincke was provided with a new list of options, at his discretion.   [Suggested by POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) were CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment) tests, an ISSI (In-Space Soldering Investigation) test (#3 of 5), an MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) test, an EPO demo of the Blue Harp music instrument or the Puzzles toy, and a checkout of the BSTC (Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller).]

The first of two ISS reboosts, to be performed Thursday night (8/19, 9:26p,m EDT) by Progress 15P, will be a translational maneuver of 5 min 19.6 sec burn duration and 1.5 m/s delta-V, yielding a mean altitude increase of 2.5 km.  Its purpose is mainly to support a test to determine the ISS mass.   [How do you weigh the ISS in orbit?  With no weight or regular scales in orbit, we can still determine the station’s current mass by conducting a controlled translation maneuver with known thrust, while measuring the acceleration.  According to Isaac Newton, the Mass can then simply be calculated by dividing Force (=thrust) by Acceleration.  15P thrusters provide a force of 855.14 Newton (192 lbs).]

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 8/18, when it will switch to LVLH XVV in support of the 15P thruster testing, 8/19 reboost 1, 8/24 ASN testing and 9/3 EVA-11, to return to XPOP on 9/4.

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.

  • Major upcoming events:

    • Progress 15P thruster tests — 8/18
    • SSRMS/Robotics activity — 8/19
    • ISS Reboost-1 — 8/19 (delta-V = 1.5 m/s);
    • ISS Reboost-2 — 8/24 (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 Volcanic rock unit site, N Pakistan (a break in the weather near the western Himalaya should have afforded a shot at the Kohistan volcanics in northern Pakistan.  The presence of volcanic rocks in this area is not clearly understood, and imagery of the area will help work out the field relationships and geologic history), Internal waves, Amazon mouth (researchers want to take advantage of continued good weather for this internal wave site.  Looking to the right of track during the overpass.  Sunglint will be to the right and very slightly behind the ISS), and Internal waves, Bahamas (clear weather over the Bahamas should have provided a good opportunity for internal waves off the NE coast of Cuba.  Looking to the right during the overpass.  Sunglint should have been nearly perpendicular to the pass).

    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) — 26.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — 163.9; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.5.
    • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 736; temperature (deg C) — 20.4.
    • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 22.7.
    • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 737.5; temperature (deg C) — 23.9 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 739.6; temperature (deg C) — 23.9; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
    • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 739.8; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; 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 #3 is off line; battery #1 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) 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, 6:42am EDT [= epoch]):

    • Mean altitude — 356.1 km
    • Apogee height — 359.7 km
    • Perigee height — 352.4 km
    • Period — 91.7 min.
    • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
    • Eccentricity — 0.000542
    • Solar Beta Angle — -24.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
    • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
    • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
    • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 32794

    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.