Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 March 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
March 2, 2005
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 March 2005

SpaceRef note: This NASA Headquarters internal status report, as presented here, contains additional, original material produced by (copyright © 2005) to enhance access to related status reports and NASA activities.

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

Progress M-53 (17P) has docked flawlessly at the Service Module (SM) aft port at 3:10pm EST, five minutes earlier than originally planned in order to complete the approach before orbital sunset (3:12pm).   [The entire process of fully automated rendezvous, closure, final approach and capture, followed by closing of soft hooks and “hard” latches, went without issues.  It was the first docking for a Progress outside RGS (Russian ground site) coverage.  The uncrewed cargo ship approached from forward, starboard and zenith for the period from 1 km into the beginning of flyaround to aft starting at ~2:50pm, for 9 min, followed by 3 min of station keeping at 160 m.  Final approach began at 3:02pm from directly aft.  After the docking, the crew shut of the TORU and began reconfiguring communications, tearing down the TV Ku-band connection via A31p laptop through the US segment.  Later, they initiated the standard period of leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and SM.]

Earlier in the day, FE Salizhan Sharipov activated the Elektron O2 generator.  The machine had been off since 2/7 when it was deactivated to stay below the flight rule upper limit (O2 fraction = 24.1%).  Since then, ppO2 was maintained by repressurizations from Progress 16 O2 and air storage.

Sharipov also conducted the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system’s emergency vacuum valves (AVK).   [The AVKs are critical because they close the Vozdukh’s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA).  Access to vacuum is required to vent carbon dioxide (CO2) during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).  During nominal operation, the AVK valves remain open.]

CDR/SO Leroy Chiao supported another periodic (50-day) maintenance/reconditioning cycle of the U.S. EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) batteries in the Airlock.  [After reconfiguring the SSC laptop for running the automated Analyze function with its special DOS application on the BCMs (Battery Charger Modules), Leroy initiated the discharge cycle on one of the two on the two EMU batteries (#2045, #2046) in their battery charger.]

Working off the discretionary Russian task list, Salizhan performed the regular daily inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 experiment.  Plants-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.

Chiao completed the scheduled monthly inspection of the RED (resistive exercise device) with canister cords and accessory straps as well as the canister bolts for re-tightening if required.

The crew conducted their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS, RED exerciser, CEVIS cycle and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer.   [Salizhan’s daily protocol currently prescribes a four-day microcycle exercise with 1.5 hr on the treadmill and one hour on VELO (today: Day 1 of a new set).]

Leroy then transferred the daily TVIS & RED exercise data files to the MEC (medical equipment computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) data, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium.

The FE completed the routine SOZh/ECLSS maintenance in the SM, including the weekly routine checkup of the IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian segment) hatchways and FGB-to-Node tunnel.

Previous Reports

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

Chiao filled out the regular weekly FFQ (food frequency questionnaire), his seventeenth, which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over time on special MEC software.   [The FFQ records amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins.  IBMP (Institute of Biomedical Problems)-recommended average daily caloric value of the crew s food intake is 2200-2300 cal.  If larger quantities of juices and fruits are taken into account, the value can go to 2400-2500 cal.]

For his Saturday Science program on 3/5, Dr. Chiao last night selected another BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3) photography session, on samples 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 in the Slow Growth Sample Module (SGSM) on the Maintenance Work Area (MWA).

Later today, at ~4:05pm, Chiao and Sharipov will start preparing for tomorrow s payload transfer operations from the Progress ship.   [For the various biotechnology experiments brought up by 17P, Salizhan activated the Russian TBU (universal biotechnological thermostat) cooler and the Cryogem-03M refrigerator in the SM, setting them to 20 degC.]

After completion of the 3-hr. leak check period, at ~6:30pm the crew will open hatches between the SM transfer tunnel (PrK) and the 17P s cargo module (GrO) and install the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the SSVP docking and internal transfer mechanism, to rigidize the coupling.

At ~7:10pm, Sharipov will sample the air in the Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler, then deactivate the transport ship and install the ventilation air duct to the SM.   [Due to the presence of 10 lithium thionyl chloride batteries aboard 17P as part of the RSC-E Nanosatellite payload, the crew was alerted to sniff for rotten egg odor upon MEV (manual equalization valve) and hatch opening, which would indicate a leaky battery.  In this unlikely event, they would isolate Progress by closing the MEV and the hatch, to await further TsUP instructions.  Nanosatellite is scheduled to be deployed during EVA-13 on 3/25, to support development of satellite control techniques, monitoring of satellite ops, and research on new attitude system sensors and other components.  It will decay after 1-3 months of autonomous flight.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) 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, Patagonian Shelf (a high-pressure cell over southern South America is maintaining clear weather over the Patagonian Shelf.  Looking to the left of track for internal wave patterns and the sunglint point), Torres del Paine, Chile (Dynamic Event.  This national park recently experienced extensive brush fires.  Looking to the left of track as ISS crossed over the southern tip of South America for blackened burn scar areas.  Imagery of burn scars will help local managers assess fire damage to the park), and Cyclone Percy, South Pacific (Dynamic Event.  This well formed storm is currently battering the Cook Islands.  Looking to the left of track for the central cyclonic cloud mass).

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites:

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at:

To view the latest photos taken by the expedition 10 crew visit:

Expedition 10 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.

Upcoming Key Events:

  • EVA-13 — 3/25;
  • Soyuz TMA-6 (10S) launch — 4/15 with Expedition 11 (CDR Sergei Krikalev, FE/SO John Phillips);
  • Soyuz TMA-5 (9S) undocking — 4/25 with Exp. 10 crew (after 193 days on orbit, 191 days on board ISS);
  • LF1 (STS-114) — NET 5/12;
  • Progress M-53 (18P) launch — 6/10;
  • ULF1.1 (STS-121) — NET 7/10;
  • Progress M-54 (19P) launch — 8/24;
  • Soyuz TMA-7 (11S) launch — 9/27.

ISS Location NOW

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Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:40am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 357.7 km
  • Apogee height — 360.5 km
  • Perigee height — 354.8 km
  • Period — 91.69 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0004253
  • Solar Beta Angle — 42.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.70
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 88 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 35890

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.