Status Report

NASA Space Station On-orbit Status 17 July 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
July 20, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-orbit Status 17 July 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.   Saturday — light-duty day for the ISS crew.

After breakfast, the Komandir and his Flight Engineer performed the regular weekly 3-hr. station cleaning.  [“Uborka” includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]

Afterwards, Padalka and Fincke held their monthly teleconference with ISS Program Management in Houston via S-band/audio.

At 9:40am EDT the weekly planning conference (WPC) with the ground took place, during which Mike and Gennady discussed next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and MCC-M planners), via S-band/audio.

For his “Saturday Science” program today, Science Officer Fincke had selected one of the EPO (Educational Payload Operations) demos, specifically general earth observations and pollution research.  Prior to the activity, Mike set up the video equipment for taping the session for PAO purposes.   [As for all EPO demos, the video will be used to supplement NASA educational materials, as well as be featured at NASA education websites.]

Previous Reports

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

The current run of EarthKAM (EK/Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) came to an end today at 10:00am when Mike Fincke powered off the payload in the Node, then disassembled the camera equipment and returned it to stowage.  The ground uplinked thanks for the highly successful mission and a list of participating international schools with their specific focal areas.   [The EK program is operated by a staff of undergraduate students in the MOC (Mission Operations Center) at U. of Cal. at San Diego, using special software that they designed to make the flight information available to the middle school students and to process their image requests.  During a mission, the MOC is staffed 8 hours/day to process requests, communicate with participating schools, and analyze and target the returned images.  After the mission, staff members also annotate and create captions for images to highlight their educational applications for use in classrooms, slide shows, and for display.  With students specializing in subjects ranging from Literature and Communications to Biology and Computer Engineering, the ISS EK Mission Operations team brings a unique array of talents to the program, making EK truly an outstanding feature of ISS utilization.]

Gennady performed the periodic replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container with purified (deionized) water from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit.   [The procedure was specially designed to prevent air bubbles from getting into the BZh liquid unit where they could cause micropump impeller cavitation and Elektron shutdown, as numerous past times.  In the procedure, the EDV water is drawn from the BKO and the air/liquid separator unit (GZhS) while the crewmember checks for any air bubbles in the EDV (and, if visible, estimates their number).]

Mike held his weekly private family conference (PFC) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/NetMeeting video.

As per the SO’s invitation, investigators of the FVMV (Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement) and ISSI (In-Space Soldering Investigation) payloads uplinked requests for additional digital video clips to supplement recent curtailed downlinks.   [The downlinking is to be done at Mike’s convenience and in whatever order he prefers, with suggested priority on FVMV first, then ISSI.]

The CDR performed the routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, which today included the regular weekly inspection of the BRPK air/condensate water separator system.

The crew completed their daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and VELO ergometer with load trainer.

Last night at 9:20pm EDT, station attitude control was taken over by the Russian MCS (motion control system) for the subsequent RCS thruster maneuver from LVLH to XPOP attitude.  Thirty minutes later control authority returned to the US CMGs (control moment gyros).  XPOP will be maintained until 7/26 (9:00am).

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Nine — 12th):

GASMAP:  Next activity will be a Routine Health Check sometime next month.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):  Continuing.

Advanced Ultrasound (ADUM):  More next month.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA:  Nothing new.

In-Space Soldering Investigation (ISSE):  The Science Officer was thanked for his time and effort in completing the first set of experiments supporting the ISSI last Saturday (7/10).  The teleconference prior to the experiments and communications with the SO during ISSI operations kept the ground “well informed on what you were doing and what was occurring”.  Communications were excellent and helped with the slight procedural changes made in real time.  Review of the experiment videotapes revealed melting kinetics, wetting characteristics, and equilibrium shape attainment of the solder charge.  The accumulated liquid flux was observed to rapidly and circumferentially translate over the surface of the molten solder ball demonstrating, perhaps for the first time in a microgravity environment, the “Leidenfrost” effect.  Evaluation of the experimental results is expected to promote our knowledge of fabrication and repair techniques that might be employed during extended space exploration missions.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  Nothing new.
Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS has submitted two OCRs to accomplish the battery status modification in it’s flight code.  Implementation is pending the outcome of a 7/20 ground test.  The SAMS team looks forward to returning to nominal operation in the next few weeks.  SAMS data from Increments 6,7 and 8 is being analyzed for the next PIMS increment report.
Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS continues to measure the quasi-steady and vibratory microgravity environments.  A report for data collected during Increments 6,7 and 8 is currently being written.  (“Sure to be a best seller.  Look for it in your favorite bookstore soon”.)

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Nominal.

Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope (PromISS):   Nothing new.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):    Planned.

Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3):  Nothing new.

Renal Stone (RS):  Nothing new.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SHERES):  Nothing new.

Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT):  Nothing new.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress. Deployed outside on the U.S. Airlock.  Nominal and collecting data.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI):  Nothing new.

Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller (BSTC):  Planned.

Yeast Group Activation Packs (Yeast GAP):  Nothing new.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  The last session for Increment 9 came to an end today (see item, above).

Earth Science Toward Exploration Research (ESTER):  Nothing new.

Serial Network Flow Monitor (SNFM):  The SNFM team is looking forward to the next ADUM data opportunity.

Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement (FMVM):  The AVI files the ground has been receiving have excellent resolution and significantly increase science output.  Thanks to Mike for working so hard to complete the operations with four types of fluids.  As it turned out, glycerin was not viscous enough to be deployable onto the strings and was not continued, whereas honey syringes contained crystals and were stowed.  Mike’s technique for drop deployments “was excellent”.  Scientifically meaningful experiments were obtained with two different viscosity silicone oils and two different viscosity corn syrups spanning the viscosity range of 2K to 100K centi-Poise (where water is 1 centi-Poise).  The experiment operations were highly successful and VTR video was downloaded.  A procedure is being developed to heat the honey syringes D-1 and D-2 to dissolve the crystals observed by Fincke.

Viscous Liquid Foam–Bulk Metallic Glass (Foam):  Investigators are very pleased with the results of the recent run and thanked Mike for precise timing.  The video on the third run “was fantastic.  We can extract the ampoule temperature during the run by watching the oxidation.  Using that temperature, we can set the viscosity in our foam model”.

BIOPSY (Effects of Prolonged Space Flight on Human Skeletal Muscle):  Nothing new.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Planned.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):  Nothing new.

Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG):  Nothing new.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  Mike Fincke was thanked for selecting EPO for today’s “Saturday Science” activity, which featured Pollution Research.  This video will help students
and educators (grades 5 -8) better understand Earth observations from the ISS.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):  Investigators are pleased to find better light returning to ISS orbit tracks after last week’s days of “dimness down under”.  Unfortunately, this weekend’s return to XPOP attitude will limit good practice opportunities with the long lenses.  But there is still “lots of time” with good summer illumination ahead.  Fire season is in full swing for western North America from New Mexico to Alaska and an anticipated active tropical weather season should begin to really ramp up by early August.  The quality of ISS/CEO imagery remains high and investigators are particularly pleased with overlapping and logical continuity of imagery in recent sessions at the window.

Today’s CEO (crew earth observation) 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 Mekong River Delta (this is a land use site where plot size and use is rapidly changing in the new agricultural economy around Ho Chi Minh City.  Suggested was a mapping swath as near nadir along track as the crew “reasonably could”), Internal waves, Vietnam (looking left into the Gulf of Tonkin for any wave packets), and Patagonian Glaciers (clearer weather persists on the warmer Pacific side of the southern Andes, so imaging small glacier tongues should be possible.  [There appears to have been a major snowfall in southernmost Patagonia on the opposite side of the Andes.]  Looking both sides of track).

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:

ISS Location NOW

Full Size/Update
Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 8:40am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 359.5 km
  • Apogee height — 363.7 km
  • Perigee height — 355.3 km
  • Period — 91.7 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006251
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.70
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 65 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 32308

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

ISS Altitude History

Apogee height Mean AltitudePerigee height

ISS Altitude History

SpaceRef staff editor.