Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 22, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 Feb 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Sunday, and a rest day for the crew.  Ahead: Week 18 of Increment 8.

Still on their new sleep cycle, CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri had their wake-up at 5:45am EST, for a 15.5 hr. day. 

Right after morning inspection, hygiene and breakfast, Sasha performed the daily hardware inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-4 greenhouse.   [Maintenance of the experiment involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.]

Alex Kaleri also conducted the daily routine maintenance on the SOZh life support system, including the water supply equipment, food supply subsystem (SOP), and sanitary hygiene equipment (SGO).

Working from the Russian task list, the FE reviewed the current status of the IMS (inventory management system), addressing some IMS database inconsistencies pointed out by the ground.   [As of 2/20, there were still close to 200 items remaining unloaded on Progress-260/13P, with 800 items already transferred to the ISS.  Sasha was asked to determine whether the 200 items actually are in 13P or have been transferred and just not entered in the database yet.  Questions also concern the time required for updating the database and the actual location of cargo bags recorded as removed from the DC-1 for the EVA.]

As another new item added to the Russian task list, Kaleri was requested to relocate and reinstall two Bradoz assemblies (A46 & A41) in the Service Module (SM).   [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.  Today’s relocation of the new A46 assembly closer to the Matryoshka-P became advisable because radiation measurements with A46, which has more track detectors, are more informative.  They allow evaluation of dose dimensional distribution and thereby enable more correct reading comparison of the A46 unit and the human-torso equivalent Matryoshka-P spheroidal phantom.] 

Kaleri was also asked to update cue cards for DC-1 procedures and Soyuz depress/repress ops for the EVA-9 next Thursday (2/26) with two safety-related changes each.

Later this afternoon, the crew is scheduled to downlink a message of greetings to the management of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City on the occasion of tomorrow’s Russian holiday of Armed Forces Day.

Both crewmembers worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill and CEVIS cycle, VELO ergometer with force loader and RED muscle exerciser.

At dinnertime (7:15pm EST), as every day, the crew will support the Renal 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.

The crew’s sleep time begins tonight again at 9:15pm.

Today’s optional CEO targets (excluding Asia due to the current sleep cycle and North American and European targets due to winter weather conditions), constrained in XPOP attitude by flight rule to having the Lab science window only available for ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing in flight (“ram”) direction, were Khartoum, Sudan (looking left at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles), Pilcomayo River, Argentina (ideal glint pass over this major river that flows out of the Andes Mountains.  The glint disc passed over the “end point” where the river is silting up its own channel, ceasing to flow thousands of km from the coast [the only river on the planet known to behave this way].  Both Argentina and Paraguay are attempting to maintain the discharge of this border river into their territories by digging large canals.  Silting of the canals necessitates the digging of new canals every year.  An entire network of canals now radiates from the end point.  Handheld sunglint images have been displayed to the Paraguayan Congress to illustrate natural and manmade waterways at the Pilcomayo’s end-point), and Necker Island, Hawaiian chain (nadir pass.  The island is a 1300-m-long remnant of a volcano).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 6:53am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 366.4 km
  • Apogee — 370.8km
  • Perigee — 362.1 km
  • Period — 91.87 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.628 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006431
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 80 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 30016

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

SpaceRef staff editor.