Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 22, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 Mar 2004

ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Sunday — crew rest day, and 155th day in space for Expedition 8 (153 days aboard ISS).

Crew wakeup was at 1:00am EST, and Foale and Kaleri were congratulated on getting Elektron back in operation yesterday.  (“I’m sure that you won’t miss burning candles!  Enjoy a well deserved Sunday off.”)

FE Kaleri attended to the daily maintenance of the environmental control & life support systems (SOZh) in the Service Module (SM).  His task today included the weekly data collection of the toilet flush counter readings, with inspection of the urine collection & pretreat assembly (SP), and water supply (SVO) status counter readings, both for calldown to TsUP/Moscow.

Alex also did his regular monitoring/servicing of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) zero-G plant growth experiment, checking water level in the Lada-4 greenhouse water container and seed status.

Mike and Sasha conducted their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on TVIS treadmill, CEVIS bike, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

MCC-H Flight Control Team handover (from Team 1 to Team 2) was at 8:00am EST.

During the handover, the regular crew/ground email sync/exchange via OCA (orbital communications adapter) took place at 8:34am (usually for an hour), without crew involvement.

At dinnertime (2:30pm), as every day, the crew will support the renal (kidney) stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) until the next sample collection phase in early April this year.

Sleep time begins, as usual, at 4:30pm.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) targets, including Asian sites coming into the daylight-awake window on ascending passes, but 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 Tropical Cyclone Fay, Indonesia (Dynamic event. ISS overflew the center of this stationary category 1 storm that lies just south of Timor), Hyderabad, India (the center of this urban region was right of track), Aerosols, Ganges River Basin (looking left and right for aerosol buildup in the Ganges depression under the present high pressure system.  This is India’s population center and the country’s largest generator of aerosols), Muglad Basin Fans, Sudan (looking nadir and right of track up to several degrees off track: this long basin stretches to the Nile River, and is completely filled with very large, poorly defined sediment fans that observers are keen to map.  Existing imagery and maps are poor), Dakar, Senegal (looking just right on the well-known spit of land.  One 180mm image should be sufficient to capture the city), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (nadir pass.  This lake tends to fill between El Niños, unlike coastal stations that receive rainfall during El Nino events), and Caracas, Venezuela (looking just right of track).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 8:15am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 367.3 km
  • Apogee — 374.3km
  • Perigee — 360.2 km
  • Period — 91.89 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.6293 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010476
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 140 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30456

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

SpaceRef staff editor.