Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 October 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
October 21, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 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 6 of joint Exp.9/Exp. 10 operations.

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

Yuri Shargin performed the Russian TEKh-8 Toksichnost (Toxicology) experiment, first setting it up in the Service Module (SM), then taking water samples of the SOZh environment control & life support systems condensate water processor SRV-K2M with syringes for analysis, for subsequent report of the tabulated results to TsUP/Moscow.  The water collection bag was then replaced and the activity closed out.

Salizhan Sharipov set up the European-built KUBIK biological incubator, took photographs of the setup and then conducted necessary repair operations on the unit, tagging up with a ground specialist.   [During the VC6 visiting period of Dutch FE André Kuipers in April ’04, anomalies (without losing science) were encountered with the electronics of both the two European KUBIK incubators, and ground studies were to determine if the incubators, left on board, were to be repaired with new electronics or disposed of.  ESA apparently decided on the first option.]

Previous Reports

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

FE Sharipov 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.]

Yuri Shargin again performed two separate observation and imagery sessions of oceans for the Diatomeya oceanographic experiment series.    [The purpose was to obtain photo and video imagery of bioproductive areas and cloud formations as well as surface manifestations of water movements in the North Atlantic and Western Mediterranean (first session), and photo and video imagery of sea water and cloud cover color structure alongside the ISS for the Indian Ocean (second session).  Yuri again 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.]

After the successful IFM (inflight maintenance) on the Elektron, Salizhan Sharipov, by way of functional handover, completed the periodic replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops EDV container with water, today from the SM’s Rodnik BV1 storage tank.   [The procedure is specifically designed to prevent air bubbles from getting into the BZh liquid unit where they could cause micropump impeller cavitation and Elektron shutdown, as in the past on numerous times.  In the procedure, the purified (deionized) EDV water is usually drawn from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit and the air/liquid separator unit (GZhS) while the crewmember checks for air bubbles in the EDV (and, if visible, estimates their number).]

CDR Padalka worked in the Soyuz 8S Descent Module (BO), cleaning the BVN2 screens of its air ventilation system.  Gennady first had to disconnect and remove the air duct leading through the FGB tunnel hatch; later he reinstalled it after using the vacuum cleaner on the screens.

Padalka conducted today’s routine inspection/maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, including replacement of ASU toilet facility inserts.

As another functional handover task, Fincke and Chiao powered up the EXPRESS rack 5 (ER5) laptop and assisted with its remote activation from the ground.   This initiated an unattended run of the SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) for several hours of LAN-1 science network bridged data traffic during the day.  Mike and Leroy then shut ER5 down again.

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.”

The crews, first Salizhan and Gennady, later Fincke and Chiao, had time reserved for scheduled commemorative (Russian: “symbolic”) activity, which is standard tradition for visiting guest crewmembers and usually consists of signing and stamping envelopes and other memorabilia.    [For example, the items to be returned by the Expedition 9 crew are two sealed packages containing copies of two icons (Our Lady of Kazan & Archangel Michael), a pennant of Baikonur, and 60 envelopes with the ISS-10 emblem.]

At 11:10am EDT, both U.S. crewmembers will support two live interactive TV downlinks, first in an interview by the Houston Chronicle (Mark Carreau), then by WPGB-Pittsburgh Newstalk Radio (E. J. Becker).

CDR Padalka deinstalled a number of payloads and moved them to the 8S/Soyuz for return to Earth, specifically the BTKh-12 Bioekologiya, Bradoz RBO radiation monitoring, and BIO-2 Biorisk experiments.   [Biorisk units have monitored the cabin air in the SM.  The battery-driven BTKh-12 studied the effects of cosmic rays, instantaneous radiation and flows of heavier charged particles on microbiological objects used in the Russian national economy, attempting to get high-performance strains of microorganisms to manufacture petroleum biodegradants, means of plant protection, and exopolysaccharide used in the oil industry.  Bradoz was developed by Moscow’s IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems) to detect integral absorbed doses of ionizing radiation using thermoluminescent detectors.  It also uses plastic track detectors for recording fluxes and spectra of linear energy transfers of heavy charged particles, and utilizes biological objects to detect radiation damage to the genetic system.  Purpose of this research is to develop radiobiological dosimetry methods for more accurate assessment of biologically significant radiation dose commitments for humans during long-term space flight.  Space radiation, even in small doses, can damage not only the somatic but also generative tissues in the human body, making it crucial to quantitatively assess the genetic damage caused by space radiation.  The experiment consists of six assemblies, five Bradoz-1 kits and one Bradoz-2 unit.  They include thermoluminescent dosimeters made of lithium fluoride crystals, R-39-type plastic track detectors made of tissue-equivalent plastic, and packets with biological samples of dry seeds of higher plants.]  

Yuri Shargin used the Nikon D1 camera with f800 lens his third 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 Atlantic Ocean.

Padalka completed the first of two 1.5-hr. training sessions in the “Chibis” ODNT suit as part of his preparations for returning into gravity.  Since there was no telemetry downlink, his vital body readings were obtained with the Tensoplus sphygmomanometer.  A tagup with ground specialists via S-band supported the run, and Mike Fincke assisted as required.   [The below-the-waist reduced-pressure device ODNT (US: LBNP) in the “Chibis” garment provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for reestablishing the body’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after the six-month stay in zero-G.  Gennady’s and Mike’s ODNT protocol today consisted of first downing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (negative) pressure, set at -20, -25, -30 and -35 mmHg for five minutes each, then at -25, -30,and -35 mmHg, 10 minutes in each mode, and at -30 mmHg for 5 min, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down.]

VC7 guest cosmonaut Shargin worked on the BTKh-10 Konyugatsiya (Conjugation) experiment that deals with the processes of genetic material transmission using bacterial conjugation.   [Today, Yuri packed icepacks in the Kriogem-03 freezer.  The activities were documented photographically.]

Leroy Chiao had one hour set aside on his schedule for ISS familiarization, i.e., to adjust to their new surroundings and activities.  This opportunity, which has become a valuable standard requirement for new station occupants for the first two weeks, will also be used by FE Salizhan Sharipov.

Update on EMU 3005:   Mike Fincke reported that a package has been prepared for EMU 3005 items to return on Soyuz 8S.  The contents in the package are:  1) rotor, 2) gas trap, 3) pump iInlet filter, 4) one Ziploc bag containing pump purge water, and 5) one Ziploc bag containing wipes from the pump housing and seal cup cleaning. 

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 Off.  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 Autotrack mode (suntracking), biased to 42.5 deg (2B) and -42.5 deg (4B) 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.


  • 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, 7:14am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 360.8 km
  • Apogee height — 366.7 km
  • Perigee height — 354.8 km
  • Period — 91.76 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008904
  • Solar Beta Angle — -18.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.69
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 33815


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.