Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 Apr 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 18, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 Apr 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.  Off-duty Sunday for the Expedition 8 crew, as Expedition 9 gets ready for arrival next Wednesday.  When Expedition 8 returns to Earth, it will have spent 194 days in space (192 days on the station).

The day began for the crew two hours earlier than usual (i.e. at 12:00 midnight EDT), on shifted sleep cycle to accommodate the 8S docking.  Sleep time begins at 3:30pm.

CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri completed the third and final day for the current renal (kidney) stone experiment session (the third for Expedition 8), with Sasha and Mike collecting urine samples for the second day, finishing their dietary/metabolic log entries and then stowing all equipment.

The FE performed his regular hardware monitoring/servicing of the Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) zero-G plant growth experiment, checking water level in the Lada-4 greenhouse water container and seed status.

Sasha also attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh environmental control & life support systems in the Service Module (SM).  Today, this included the weekly collection of SP toilet flush counter and SVO water supply readings for calldown to TsUP.

The crew worked out on their regular daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill and RED exerciser, Sasha completing his second prescribed day on the TVIS.

Working off the Russian task list, Kaleri copied all photos accumulated on the Russian Laptop TP1 on a hard disk (HDD-3) for return to Earth.   [Until the end of his Increment, Sasha will store photo imagery on two Compact Flash 512Mb memory cards that will also be returned on Soyuz 7S.]

Update on Soyuz 7S Helium Leak:  In view of the helium leakage in the repress lines of both KDU manifolds (between He tanks and check valves), TsUP/Moscow has prepared and uplinked special instructions to the crew on how they are to perform an emergency deorbit in the Soyuz-213/7S, should this become necessary.   [In that event, the crew is not to interconnect the two KDU repress & propulsion manifolds, but will conduct undocking and deorbit on separate subsystems, viz., performing the undocking manually on section/manifold #1 of the KDU repress & propulsion subsystems and the subsequent deorbit burn on section #2, without interconnecting the two subsystems as is nominally the case.]

Update on Soyuz TMA-4/8S:  At Baikonur, early this morning the State Board held its formal meeting to review and approve the Soyuz TMA-4 and the ISS-9 prime & backup crews as well as to give the Go-ahead for the Rocket & Space Complex to proceed with propellant loading of the vehicle and with the launch within the scheduled time (tonight at 11:19pm EDT).  [The prime crew was confirmed as consisting of Gennady Ivanovich Padalka (Soyuz TMA Commander & ISS Expedition 9 Commander), Edward Michael Fincke (Soyuz TMA Flight Engineer & ISS Expedition 9 Flight Engineer), and André Kuipers (Soyuz TMA Flight Engineer-1 & ISS visiting crew Flight Engineer).  Padalka, a Colonel of the Russian Air Force, is a Flight Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation (RF) and Instructor/Test Cosmonaut of GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), Fincke, a Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Air Force, is a NASA Astronaut on his first mission, Kuipers, from Netherlands, is an ESA Astronaut, also on his first space flight.]

Update on CMG-3:  The testing on CMG-3 was finished overnight as planned, and the gyroscope is now back in the steering law with CMGs #2 and #4.   [As a part of ending the test, the “Loss of CMG Attitude Control” Warning and the “RS Autorecovery Initiated” Caution status have been changed from Suppressed back to Enabled.]

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 optional 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 Seoul, South Korea (looking right of track for this capital city that lies in a smoggy valley.  The DMZ may have been visible just north of the city as a color change between different farming systems), Osaka, Japan (looking left up Japan’s Inland Sea towards Osaka), Mekong River Dams (400mm-lens.  Numerous dams are being built along the Mekong.  ISS’ descending pass paralleled the river: looking left for a mapping series of views.  This is the first time this new site has been called out for CEO), Hyderabad, India (looking slightly right for the center of south India’s largest inland city), Khartoum, Sudan (looking slightly right for Khartoum and its sister city Omdurman at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles), and Chicago, Illinois (nadir pass).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 8:48am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 363.4 km
Apogee — 370.8 km
Perigee — 356.1 km
Period — 91.81 min.
Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0010895
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.68
Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30895

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

SpaceRef staff editor.