Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 3, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 Mar 2004

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

The crew had another “light-duty” schedule today. 

FE Alexander Kaleri assembled and connected equipment for discharging the two Orlan spacesuit batteries (825M3) used in last week’s EVA-9.   [Orlan batteries are discharged no later than 5 days after EVA (and are charged no earlier than 5 days before it). Before start of the today’s assembly, the BITS2-12 telemetry measurement system and its VD-SU control mode were deactivated, and reactivated after the activity.  For the discharge, each battery was connected to the charging unit (ZU-S), with discharge duration depending on remaining battery charge.  After the discharge, closeout ops were to be performed and the hardware stowed.  ]

Continuing troubleshooting of the Elektron oxygen generator system, Kaleri supported today’s Liquid Unit (BZh) purging by opening an access opening and installing a water feed unit (BPV) at a maintenance port.  The Elektron was deactivated for this purpose.  After its reactivation, it failed again and is currently off.   [An O2 repress from Progress has not been scheduled as yet.]

CDR/SO Michael Foale conducted the monthly PEPs (portable emergency provisions) inspection.   [The procedure involves verification that PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), PBAs (portable breathing assemblies), QDMAs (quick-don mask assemblies) and EHTKs (extension hose/tee kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware.  PEPs are not removed from their locker unless obvious damage is discovered during the inspection.  There are a total of 5 PBAs in the U.S. segment (USOS), viz., two in the Node, two in the Lab, and one in the Airlock.]

Foale completed the weekly maintenance of the TVIS treadmill, including the inspection of its wire ropes (dampers) for signs of fraying.  Mike also transferred the accumulated TVIS exercise files to the MEC (medical equipment computer) for subsequent downlink to the ground.

The CDR completed his 14th weekly filling-out of the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on the medical equipment computer (MEC). 

Working again off the Russian discretionary task list, Sasha performed another set of observations for the Diatomeya ocean research program, taking imagery of ocean areas depicting intensive phytoplankton blooming in the Atlantic Ocean’s Easter sector of subtropical anticyclone circulation at the Morocco coastline, later at the Florida coastline down to the Orinoco River.   [The FE focused the Nikon F5 (f/80 mm lens) from SM window #8 and the Sony DVCAM-150 digital camcorder, fixed on a bracket above window #7, on blooming areas along frontal zones of the Canaries Current, on cloudiness in the atmospheric maximum pressure zone, and on shape & location of highly productive water areas along NW Africa coast.  In Middle and South America, targets were current dynamics at the Gulf Stream’s origin, watercolor features around the Bahamas & Antilles, and the Orinoco River runoff spreading area.]

As a second task list item, Kaleri performed another round of Uragan earth observations, using the Kodak 760 electronic still camera (ESC) with the long f800 lens at windows #6-8 to make observations and take imagery of Nigeria, Abuja City, and the coastlines of North and South America.   [Images are stored on a removable HDD (hard disk drive) of the EGE-2 laptop.]

At 5:40am EST, Foale and Kaleri downlinked a cordial message of greeting addressing the participants of the upcoming ceremony celebrating the 70th birthday of Yuri Alexeevich Gagarin, the first human in space, on March 9.   [Kaleri: “When Yuri Gagarin went into space, Michael and I were still kids.  We fully agree with Neil Armstrong that Yuri Gagarin “called all of us into space”.]

The first (of three) reboost maneuvers by Progress-260 (13P) prior to Soyuz 8S is will take place tonight at 5:59pm EST (time of ignition, Tig).  It will be a one-burn maneuver of 2.3-m/sec delta-V.  After the reboost, station attitude will go to XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane).   [After attitude control handover to the Russian MCS (motion control system) at 2:35pm, the station will maneuver to reboost attitude at 4:50pm, after which the Progress’ integrated propulsion system (KDU) will be readied for the burn.  Roll control for the reboost will be from the SM thrusters, yaw, pitch and reboost itself from Progress attitude control thrusters.  Attitude control authority will be returned to USOS at 8:40pm.  The crew will be on their sleep time during the reboost (but may feel “a little bump in the night” (Flight Control).]

Next Friday (3/5), TsUP/Moscow will conduct its periodic efficiency test on the solar arrays of the FGB module (last time done: 11/11/03).   [The periodic Russian efficiency testing keeps track of the energy-output performance of the photovoltaics over time under the degrading effects of the space environment (mostly from ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen). Since the test requires the full power output of the solar arrays, and the FGB itself does not have sufficient loads for drawing it, the U.S. side has been requested to increase U.S. loads up to 1238 W, increasing and decreasing in steps of ~200 W each two minutes.  MCC-Houston will take advantage of this opportunity to conduct a calibration test on RACU 6 (Russian-to-American Converter Unit #6), which will carry the increased load.  The procedure has been used twice before (4/3/03 & 11/11/03.)]

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):   This is the third day of the Trans-Atlantic 3-week cruise by the NOAA ship, Ronald H. Brown.  The ship left Barbados on 2/29, heading SE.  Shipboard observations will be used to make atmospheric and aerosol measurements.  The cruise also supports the collection of bio-optic and oceanographic observations including water sampling, spectroradiometry, and in-water optical measurements.

Today’s CEO targets were Omo River delta, Ethiopia (the Omo River flows into Lake Turkana, draining the Ethiopian plateau.  This river is the main water supply for the lake, so that lake levels, especially in the form of the gently sloped river delta occupying the entire north end of the lake, are a prime proxy for precipitation in Ethiopia.  This long-term monitoring site shows wide migration of the delta coastline), Saharan dust, East Atlantic (on this third day of NOAA’s Trans-Atlantic science cruise, the crew was to shoot any dust haze they may have seen, left or right of track), Cape Town, South Africa (looking right on the Cape peninsula.  Cape Town lies on north-facing Table Bay at the foot of Table Mountain), Monterrey, Mexico (nadir pass over the Mexico’s steel industry city), and Internal waves, Central America (near-nadir location of the glint disc point may allow relatively detailed imagery of internal waves close to the Nicaraguan and Costa Rican coasts).

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, 1:33pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is Off.  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 Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On, SKV-2 is Off (repair now completed; to be tested ASAP).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.4; ppO2 (mmHg) — 142.2; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.9;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 19.5.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738.80; temperature (deg C) — 22.9 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 740.67; temperature (deg C) — 25.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 740.78; temperature (deg C) — 22.9; shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.2, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.7
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 20.8

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Directed Position mode (blind/triple-angle mode, non solar-tracking, drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Standby 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-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is Off (both now upgraded to R3).
  • 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).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 4036 kg (8898 lb) as of 2/27/04  [SM(755) + FGB(2622) + Progress M(0) + Progress M-1(659)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH XVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -90 deg, pitch: -9 deg, roll: 1.7 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

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.
  • 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, powered on both strings.
  • MBS: KA 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, 6:52am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 365.4 km
  • Apogee — 369.2km
  • Perigee — 361.5 km
  • Period — 91.85 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.6288 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005719
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.68
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30157

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

SpaceRef staff editor.