Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 October 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
October 20, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 October 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.   Day 5 of joint Exp.9/Exp. 10 operations.

General handover activities between Exp. 9 and Exp. 10 continue to go well.

After wakeup at the regular 2:00am EDT and before breakfast, Flight Engineers Yuri Shargin and Salizhan Sharipov completed a session with the periodic Russian MedOps test “Hematokrit” (MO-10) that measures red blood cell count of the blood.   [The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit’s minicentrifuge, and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass.  It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time.  After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), and Padalka stowed the equipment.]

Previous Reports

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

Afterwards, still without savtrak, Shargin also took the MBI-1 SPRUT-K test, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity.  Supported by the newly fixed laptop 3 (LT3), the data were recorded on Profilaktika memory cards, along with this mornings hematocrit data and Monday’s body mass values.  Afterwards, LT3 was powered down.  [Experiment requisites are the Sprut (“squid”) securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs), and the payload computer for control and data storage.  The Penguin suit or Braslet-M cuffs, if worn, have to be taken off first.  Electrode measurements are recorded at complete rest and relaxed body position.  Assistance from the CDR or FE-10 was not required.]

CDR Gennady Padalka completed the last day ops of his current Russian MBI-2 Diurez (“Diuresis”) experiment.   [MBI-2 today featured the end of urine sampling and added collection of capillary blood specimen for red blood cell mass (hematocrit) determination (per MO-10 procedure) and venous blood samples, followed by centrifugation (per MBI-7 BIOTEST protocol).  Diurez was then closed out and the samples stowed later in the Soyuz TMA-4/8S Descent Module (BO).]

After completion of Diurez, as required by procedure, Gennady collected air samples with the IPD-NH3 Draeger tubes for NH3 (ammonia) near the ASU toilet facilities.  

As part of the combined Diurez and Hematokrit protocol, Sharipov performed the centrifugation of blood samples per the Russian MBI-7 BIOTEST protocol, to determine the actual hematocrit values.  MBI-7 was then closed out also.

19 October 2004: Transcript of a Interview with ISS Astronauts Fincke and Chiao

Fincke: Well Keith, we are 225 miles closer to the stars. We are humanity’s only outpost at this time. That is something very special. I made a few remarks the other day in a teleconference to an astronaut reunion. I had this question a little bit in mind saying “people – critics – say that we’re not going anywhere.” Well sure we are. We’re building up a lot of experience – and we can’t get this experience anywhere else – experience so that we can really go to places – to the moon and to Mars. And on this expedition we showed it.”

Padalka, Fincke and Shargin had 3 hrs. set aside to conduct the Soyuz descent training exercise, standard procedure for each crew returning on a Soyuz.  The exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display), was supported by a tagup and discussions with a ground instructor at TsUP/Moscow via U.S. S-band.   [The training session included a review of the pertinent ODF (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures, and it featured special emphasis on nominal operations with the new Neptune-MEh cockpit console.  During descent, Padalka, as Soyuz CDR, will occupy the middle couch, with Shargin in the left seat and Fincke in the Descent Modules right Kazbek couch.]

Fincke and Chiao successfully cleaned the pump rotor from EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) #3005.  Upon thorough cleaning of the cup and pump rotor, the impeller spun freely.  Additional photos of the hardware were taken and sent to the ground for review.  The crewmembers also took the remaining residue and particulate samples approved for return on 8S.  Upon completion of these activities, the EMU hardware was temporarily stowed in the Airlock.  The new pump rotor launched on 15P will be installed following the joint mission during Increment 10.

Salizhan Sharipov performed a session of the ETD-3 experiment (Investigation of the Coordination of Eye and Head Movements), before doing any physical exercise.   [After a calibration with the calibrating unit, the experiment investigates horizontal eye and head movement coordination, measured Listing’s plane, and determined the orientation of the vestibulo-ocular coordinate system, using five target marks on the horizontal plane.  Each step required another prior calibration run, using visual target cues or the calibration unit.  The 1-hr. run was supported by tagup with ground specialists.]

The FE-10 then performed the second part of the Russian TEKh-8 Toksichnost (Toxicology) experiment, taking water samples of the SOZh environment control & life support system with syringes for analysis in a container from the BIOTOKS-10K accessory kit, for subsequent report of the tabulated results to TsUP/Moscow.

Yuri Shargin used the Nikon D1 camera with f800 lens on a second session of observation and imaging of selected targets for the Russian Environmental Protection Service as part of the Ekon (KPT-3) experiment, today performing photography of the Yuri Shargin used the Nikon D1 camera with f800 lens on a second session of observation and imaging of selected targets for the Russian Environmental Protection Service as part of the Ekon (KPT-3) experiment, today again performing photography of the Pacific Ocean.

CDR Padalka completed the now-daily routine checkup of the IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways and FGB-to-Node tunnel.   [With five inhabitants in the station, proper IMV (intermodular ventilation) is of prime importance.]

Sharipov floated through the station to set up 16 new (white) Radiation Area Monitors (RAMs) that had arrived with 9S/Soyuz-215.  After the deployment, he took digital pictures to document the placements.  The old (blue) RAMs will be returned on 8S.

Yuri again performed two separate observation and imagery sessions of the Atlantic & Indian Oceans and Mediterranean & the Red Sea for the Diatomeya experiment series.    [The purpose was to obtain video information on position and form of plankton fields, coral colonies, and cloud structures in the atmospheric stream flow and in the typhoon developing areas (first session), and on bioproductive processes of the waters along submerged ridges (second session).  Yuri used the Nikon-F5 digital still camera with 80mm focal length and the DSR PD-150P camcorder in minimum zoom mode, from SM windows #7 and #8, which he closed again afterwards.]

Leroy Chiao completed the daily routine inspection of the SM’s SOZh life support system prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) delta file for export/import to the IMS databases, while Fincke attended to the routine status checkup of the autonomous PCG-STES010 (Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System) payload in the Lab (done every Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

Salizhan did his daily monitoring of the Russian Kriogem-3M refrigerator (which should be holding at +4 degC).

Gennady conducted the periodic inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.

Fincke, Chiao, Sharipov and Padalka completed their daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser. CEVIS ergometer and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer.

Update on Elektron:  The maintenance/repair of the Elektron over the past two days was successful.  The new gas analyzer base plate, gas analyzers, H2 lines, filters, purifiers, and valves launched on 9S were all installed yesterday.  The Triol fluid remains in the valve, which remains capped.  Following a one-hour start-up to allow the gas analyzer to warm up, the Elektron was successfully activated and configured for 50-amp mode.  It was temporarily downgraded to 32-amp mode to allow power consumption for TVIS exercise and then moded back to 50-amp.  All logic is enabled, so the gas analyzers will shut down the generator in case of any offnominal signatures.  The crew was instructed to check the temperature of the secondary purification unit every orbit.  Temperature checks of the purification unit are still being done and the unit is powered down just prior to crew sleep for safety until certification.  On 10/22, MCC-M plans to re-enable software algorithms associated with the “H2 in O2” gas analyzer and resume 24-hour operations outside of BMP regeneration operations (which still share the vacuum exhaust valve).  Until that point, the Elektron will continue to be powered down during crew sleep.   [“Triol” coolant fluid consists of water with a 30 percent solution of glycerin (to lower the freezing point to 7 degC) plus biocide and UV-light-sensitive additives to aid in leak detection.]

Update on CDRA:  The CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) completed a second pumpdown.  The check valve cleared and closed successfully. Ground controllers in Houston commanded the unit dual bed operation. The CDRA has now operated in dual-bed mode for an entire crew day.

At 9:30am EDT, the five crewmembers participated in a live interactive TV news conference with U.S. and Russian media assembled at NASA Centers and TsUP/Moscow, via U.S. assets (Ku-band with S/G2) from the Lab module.   [Of the 30 minutes time slot, 15 min were for U.S. media and 15 min. for Russian media.]

At ~11:10 am, Leroy Chiao recorded an upbeat and enthusiastic video on the importance of voting for the upcoming election, highlighting the fact that U.S. astronauts can vote from space, through a law passed a few years ago by the Texas State Legislature.

The traditional Change-of-Command Ceremony, involving all crewmembers, is scheduled for Friday, 10/22, at 11:13am EDT, to be aired live on NSASA TV.

Sleep period begins at the regular 5:30pm.

Ahead for Soyuz 8S:

  • Hatch close — 10/23 (Sat), ~2:00pm;
  • Undocking from FGB — ~5:05pm;
  • Entry burn — ~7:40pm;
  • Landing — ~8:32pm.

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:

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.

U.S. & Russian Segment Status  (as of today, 1:33pm EDT)
Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is On.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is Off.  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is On.  SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 & ppCO2 monitoring.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is On.  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off.  SKV-2 is On (SM panel mods completed 4/8; SKV-2 activation failed 4/20; new replaceable condensate removal line installed on 9/9).  SFOG slot #2 fan suspect (not usable).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in directed position (dual angle/blind mode, non solar-tracking, biased for drag reduction).
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are on line in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #6 is off line; all other batteries (5) 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 failed, C&C-2 is prime, and C&C-3 is backup.
  • GNC-1 MDM (vers. R4) is prime; GNC-2 (vers. R4) 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: 4076 kg (8986 lb) as of 10/14/04;  [SM(552) + FGB(3524) + 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-2s RPC-17 failed 4/21/04; was replaced 6/30/04).
  • State vector source US SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source US String 1
  • 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 9S docking on 10/16.

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.
  • 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.


  • Robotics:
  • 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

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ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 9:56am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 360.9 km
  • Apogee height — 366.8 km
  • Perigee height — 355.0 km
  • Period — 91.76 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008739
  • Solar Beta Angle — -23.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.69
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 110 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 33801


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.