Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 September 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
September 25, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 September 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.   Saturday — first weekend rest day for the crew. 

Gennady Padalka and Mike Fincke were thanked for their willingness to continue troubleshooting the Elektron O2 generator over the weekend.    

After breakfast, the Commander and the Flight Engineer performed the regular weekly three-hour station cleaning.  [“Uborka”, done every Saturday, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table and other surfaces with “Fungistat” disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]  

Immediately following, the crewmembers held their once-every-two-weeks teleconference with ISS Program Management in Houston via S-band/audio.

Later, Fincke set up the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) in the Lab for the “Saturday Science” program, during which he subsequently worked with the soldering iron in another session of the ISSI (In-Space Soldering Investigation) experiment.    

Padalka meanwhile performed the monthly recharging of the Motorola-9505 Iridium satellite phone, which he had to postpone on 9/23 due to Elektron troubleshooting.  Gennady retrieved the phone kit it from its location in the Soyuz TMA-4 descent module (DM) and started the charging of its lithium-ion battery.   [For safety, before powering up the recharge unit, the telephone, as before (8/19/04), was put into a single CTB (crew transfer bag), which then was placed inside a triple CTB.  As a slight modification of previous procedure, the crew was requested to perform an inspection on the two CTBs to ensure their integrity (internal damage to CTB zippers tested for Iridium battery recharging on the ground had allowed an intentionally triggered fire to penetrate through the zippers).  The charging was monitored every 30 minutes without taking the satphone out of the containment.  Upon completion (~11:30am EDT), Padalka removed the phone, placed it inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the DMs operational data files (ODF) container.]    

Mike completed the regular once-every-two-weeks maintenance reboot of the OCA comm router laptop.  When he also did the weekly routine restart of the two operational PCS laptops, the Service Module (SM) PCS did not boot up.  Until the laptop is recovered or one or more new ones built, only one good PCS remains, i.e., without redundancy.    

The FE again filled out the FFQ (food frequency questionnaire), which keeps an (almost-) regular weekly log of his nutritional intake over time on special MEC (medical equipment computer) software.

Gennady did the routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, today including the weekly inspection of the BRPK air/liquid condensate separator apparatus.    

At 9:30am, the crew conducted their regular weekly planning conference (WPC) with the ground to discuss the “Look-Ahead Plan” for next week (regularly prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP planners), via S-band/audio.

At ~2:05pm, Mike Fincke had a PFC (private family conference) via S-band/audio.    

The crew performed their regular 2.5 hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED expander and VELO cycle with bungee cord load trainer.

Yesterday the RGA 2 (Rate Gyro Assembly) suffered a failure, subsequently identified as a “skew failure”.  The RGA was power-cycled (turned off/on), reauthorized and restored to nominal operation after ~3.5 hrs.   [Each of the two redundant RGAs, which provide angular rate data to the U.S. ACS (Attitude Control System), contains three ring laser gyros which measure incremental attitude in three axes.  The RGAs are mounted such that they are skewed (deliberately “misaligned”) relative to each other.  The skew algorithm compares incremental attitude data between the two RGAs and allows an individual ring laser gyro failure to be observable using data from the other RGA.  Following isolation of a failed gyro, the suspect RGA is declared failed and removed from use.  Engineers believe that the thresholds used in the algorithm may be set too conservatively causing the algorithm to declare a RGA failed.]  

Previous Reports

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

The C&C2 MDM (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer, computer), which failed last Thursday night, has been successfully recovered.  It is currently operating in “Standby” state.   [Additional data are being collected from the MDM. At this time the cause of the failure is not certain.  However, initial indications point towards a single event upset of the high-rate data link (HRDL), which is the MDM’s interface to the mass storage device.]  

Due the C&C2 failure, the planned battery reconditioning for battery set 4B2 has been postponed.   [The desired configuration for this activity placed the primary C&C on channel 2B.  C&C3, which is now Primary, is powered from channel 4B.  The reconditioning could be planned as early as next Tuesday, but it is more likely that the activity will slip out until late October.]  

Part 2 of the portside (Loop B) TRRJ (Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint) test was completed successfully last night.  All TRRJ operations went very well, with Loop B TRRJ operating nominally throughout the run.  It was then successfully moded to Autotrack where it will remain for the duration of the weekend.    

An inventory/audit of food containers on board has been added to Mike Fincke’s discretionary “job jar” task list, in preparation for the new Expedition 10 crew.    

Working off his discretionary task list, Padalka conducted another session of the Uragan earth-imaging program, using the Kodak 760 DSC (digital still camera) with 800mm-lens from SM windows #9, now available again in LVLH attitude.   [Today’s task featured the Kolka glacier, the city of Vladikavkaz, the Western and Eastern Caspian coastlines in nadir view, the erupting volcano Etna in Sicily, and the Balkan coastline.]  

Another task list item for Gennady was a new run of the  “Diatomeya” ocean observations program, for which he used the DSR PD-150P video camera and Nikon F5 digital still camera with 24/85-mm lens from SM windows #7 and #8 to collect photo and video data describing (a) bioproductive water dynamics in two large Northern and Southern Atlantic regions confined to crossing of warm and cold currents for the last decade of September, (b) the magnitude of Orinoco river runoff expansion and the pattern of impact caused by Guiana current, and (c) the cloud field structure above the ocean in the region of subtropical jet current in atmosphere.   [Specific target areas today were the South Atlantic near the south tip of Africa, western and northwestern regions of the Indian Ocean, and the North Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles and southwest of Newfoundland.]  

A third task for Gennady today was to transfer new accumulated Matryoshka data tables from the BSPN Matryoshka server via the ISS Wiener laptop to a PCMCIA flash card for subsequent downlink on OCA comm.   [Matryoshka automatically takes measurements in the SM and DC-1 docking compartment for studies of on-orbit radiation and long-term dose accumulation, using six SPD dosimeters deployed throughout the Russian segment as well as in a spherical body-simulating Matryoshka-R phantom and a human torso model outside on the SM hull, mounted there during EVA-9 on 2/27/04.]  

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Nine — 22nd):

GASMAP:  Nothing new.

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS):  Continuing.

Advanced Ultrasound (ADUM):  Nothing new.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA:  Nothing new.

In-Space Soldering Investigation (ISSE):  The team was eagerly awaiting today’s “Saturday Science” session.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI):  Nothing new.

Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):  SAMS measured the acceleration levels during this week ISS reboosts in support of the two Mission Control Centers.    

Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS):  MAMS continues to monitor the quasi-steady microgravity environment.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Nominal.

Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope (PromISS):  Nothing new.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):    Planned.

Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3):   Complete.

Renal Stone (RS):  Nothing new.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SHERES):  Nothing new.

Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT):  Nothing new.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress. Deployed outside on the U.S. Airlock.  Nominal and collecting data.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI):  Nothing new.

Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller (BSTC):  In planning.

Yeast Group Activation Packs (Yeast GAP):  Nothing new.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  Camera charge was completed successfully.  The team is waiting “impatiently” for the October run.

Earth Science Toward Exploration Research (ESTER):  Nothing new.

Serial Network Flow Monitor (SNFM):  Nothing new.

Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement (FMVM):  Nothing new.

Viscous Liquid Foam–Bulk Metallic Glass (Foam):   Nothing new.

BIOPSY (Effects of Prolonged Space Flight on Human Skeletal Muscle):  Nothing new.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Planned.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA):  Nothing new.

Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG):  Nothing new.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO):  EPO looks forward to future operations.  The crew’s previous EPO demonstrations have been well received by NASA Education and payload sponsors.

Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE):    Nothing new.

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.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):   While no images from Increment 9 is being published on Earth Observatory this week, more are being identified and planned.  Hurricane season has kept the ground busy with the crew’s “awesome” dynamic event imagery.  Activity in the Atlantic Ocean appears to be leveling off a bit now, but the season does run through the end of November.  As ISS/CEO imagery is reviewed and catalogued, a number of good shots of Mike’s favorite city, Pittsburgh, are seen.  Best finds this week were excellent views of alluvial fans and features in the Muglad basin of southwestern Sudan.  They are still being studied and evaluated, but they are easily the best ever seen of this target area.  With time back in LVLH attitude, researchers are finally seeing more, long lens imagery again.  The Expedition 9 crew has made an incredible haul of imagery this increment; their frame total as of yesterday had reached 16,913 and still counting…    

Today’s CEO photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude no longer limited by restrictions on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Tunis, Tunisia (this near-nadir pass provided an opportunity for high-resolution photography of the city center and urban-rural fringe.  These images will be useful for land cover mapping and data fusion with multispectral satellite data), Pilcomayo River dynamics, Northern Argentina (high resolution nadir photography of the current river course and abandoned river channels will aid in interpretation of existing oblique photography for this region), Hurricane Jeanne, Western Atlantic Ocean (Dynamic Event.  Jeanne continues to move westwards towards the Florida coast.  Looking to the left of track approximately eight degrees, the crew may have been able to capture the majority of the storm system in a single frame), and Internal waves, Tuamotu Archipelago (weather was predicted to be clear over the western islands for internal wave photography).

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:

Current Soyuz 9S (Expedition 10 + 1) flight plan (Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov, Yuri Shargin):

  • Launch — 10/11, 12:17am ET (Moscow: 8:17am; Baikonur: 10:17am)
  • Docking @ DC1 — 10/13, 2:05am ET (Moscow: 10:05am)
  • Hatch Opening (docking + 2 orbits) — 10/13, 5:05am EDT (Moscow: 1:05pm).

Current 8S (Expedition 9 + 1) flight plan (Gennady Padalka, Michael Fincke, Yuri Shargin):

  • Hatch Closing — 10/19, 3:15pm ET (Moscow: 11:15pm; Kustanai: 10/20, 1:15am)
  • Undocking from FGB — 10/19, 6:20pm ET (Moscow: 10/20, 2:20am; Kustanai: 10/20, 4:20am)
  • Deorbit Burn — 10/19, 8:52pm ET (Moscow: 10/20, 4:52am; Kustanai: 10/20, 6:52am)
  • Landing — 10/19, 9:45pm ET (Moscow: 10/20, 5:45am; Kustanai: 10/20, 7:45am.

Other upcoming events:

  • Soyuz 9S relocate to FGB nadir port — 11/18;
  • Progress 15P undock – 11/23;
  • Progress 16P launch — 11/24;
  • EVA-12 — 12/28;
  • Progress 16P undock — 1/29/05;
  • Progress 17P launch — 1/30/05;
  • EVA-13 — 2/21/05;
  • Shuttle/LF1 launch — NET 3/6/05;
  • Shuttle/LF1 undock — NET 3/16/05.


ISS Location NOW

Full Size/Update
Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this afternoon, 3:16pm EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 363.3 km
  •   Apogee height — 370.0 km
  •   Perigee height — 356.6 km
  •   Period — 91.81 min.
  •   Inclination (to Equator) — 51.63 deg
  •   Eccentricity — 0.0009937
  •   Solar Beta Angle — -6.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
  •   Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.68
  •   Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 65 m
  •   Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98)  — 33412


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.