Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 26 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 26, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 26 Mar 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Mike Foale’s schedule today was dominated by the mandatory once-per-year EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) midterm functionality verification, designed to ensure that all spacesuit components are operating nominally following an extended period of downtime, and to satisfy maintenance requirements for extended on-orbit use. [The checkout was performed on EMU 3011 and included cycling valves and regulators in the backpack, done once per year. The EMU fan was tested by running it for two hours. The C/O also included dumping water from the EMU feedwater tanks and refilling them. A PCS (portable computer system) laptop was connected to the EMU, to gather more data during the C/O than can be seen in real-time on the ground. They are to be transferred to an SSC (station support computer) for retrieval by the ground. Prior to the C/O, the CDR had half an hour to move equipment out of the way in the U.S. Airlock (A/L) to allow access to the EMU 3011 and associated hardware. Later in the day, after all EMU-related activities were complete, the equipment was restowed in the A/L.]

For the EMU activities in the A/L, the Lab air conditioner (CCAA, common cabin air assembly) was activated by the ground and turned off again afterwards. [The usual subsequent CCAA heat exchanger dryout was not required since the LTL (low temperature loop)’s temperature setpoint was chosen high enough to prevent condensation.]

The EMU C/O procedures also included a series of A/L communications checks, in which Sasha Kaleri assisted. [For these tests, TsUP/Moscow temporarily commanded off the 400.1 MHz one-watt transmitter of the GTS (global timing system), whereas MCC-H activated the UHF2 (ultra-high frequency #2) system and configured the station’s audio subsystem for UHF ops to allow “ship-to-ship” comm mode.]

FE Alexander Kaleri continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of Russian segment (RS) ventilation systems. [Today’s cleaning involved the Group B ventilation fans in the Service Module (SM), plus a checkout of the ventilators and a thorough cleaning of fan screens and flexible air ducts (but not the VV1RO air duct fans and VOL ventilation grids, as per instruction). The VV2RO air duct fan grilles were cleaned subsequently.]

CDR Foale worked on the HRF (Human Research Facility) and its GASMAP (Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology) equipment. [After first loading a new PC hard drive with a copy of the HRF common software, to serve as a backup and also to get the Increment 9 crew off to a good start, Mike performed the regular full-up 30-day GASMAP functionality (“health”) test. After unstowing, cabling and powering up the equipment, he let it run for 3 hrs. in standby mode, then performed the health check and reconfigured the system for a 2-hr. low power rundown. He called down the calibration tank pressures and activated the raw data capture for later retrieval by the ground. Afterwards, about 6 hrs. after power-up, the GASMAP was deactivated. Last time done: 2/11.]

The Science Officer held a 10-min. debriefing on the finished MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) experiment with its Principal Investigator at Huntsville/POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center).

Kaleri performed his regular maintenance/inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) greenhouse and replenished its water supply with water from the regular SVO-ZV water supply system. [Rasteniya studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-4 greenhouse. Regular maintenance involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, watering to moisten the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.]

The Elektron O2 generator continues to operate nominally, in 32A mode. To replenish its water supply for electrolysis, Sasha refilled the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container with purified water from the BKO multifiltration/purification column unit and the GZhS air/liquid separator unit while checking for any air bubbles. [This recently introduced new procedure, intended to prevent gas bubbles from getting into the BZh fluid unit, now requires the water to be passed through the BKO and GZhS. Normally, when tapping a CWC (contingency water container), this was not the case.]

Kaleri conducted his weekly IMS (inventory management system) tagup with ground specialists, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for updating the IMS database. [Today’s topics included location of a videocassette, bags with expired SGO (sanitary hygiene equipment), and preparations for next week’s prepacking inventory for Progress-260/13P.]

The weekly teleconference with the ISS Flight Director at MCC-H was not held.

Before returning on Soyuz TMA-3/7S, the Expedition 8 crewmembers are to stamp and autograph a number of commemorative items for the Center 4 Museum at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The activity, involving a Center 4 flag, a banner and five carrier rocket photographs, was added to the Russian task list for crew discretion.

The SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System) equipment is currently down due to several recent lockups. Ground specialists are analyzing data and developing recovery plans. MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System) is active and recording acceleration data nominally.

The downlinked results of Mike Foale’s third FOOT (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight) experiment session on 3/12 were found to be excellent despite his compressed schedule at the time of data collection. There will be one more FOOT session for him in April.

Upcoming Major Events:

Soyuz TMA-4/8S Liftoff (vyvedenie):

  • Eastern: 4/18 — 11:18pm EDT
  • Moscow: 4/19 — 6:18am DMT
  • Baikonur: 4/19 — 8:18am local

8S Docking (stykovka, @ FGB nadir port):

  • Eastern: 4/21 — 1:00am EDT
  • Moscow: 4/21 — 8:00am DMT

8S Hatch Opening:

  • Eastern: 4/21 — ~2:25am EDT
  • Moscow: 4/21 — ~9:25am DMT

Soyuz TMA-3/7S Hatch Closing:

  • Eastern: 4/29 — ~1:34pm EDT
  • Moscow: 4/29 — ~8:34pm DMT

7S Undocking (rasstykovka, from DC-1/”Pirs”)

  • Eastern: 4/29 — ~4:46pm EDT
  • Moscow: 4/29 — ~11:46pm DMT

7S Landing (posadka, Northern Kazakhstan Landing Zone):

  • Eastern: 4/29 — 7:58pm EDT
  • Moscow: 4/30 — 2:58am DMT
  • Kazakhstan: 4/30 — 4:58am local (sunrise: 5:06am)

Also upcoming:
Soyuz 8S Launch/7S Landing SORR (Stage Operations Readiness Review) — 4/1 (JSC)
Soyuz 8S Launch/7S Landing FRR (Flight Readiness Review) — 4/8
Progress 14P SORR — 4/22.

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) targets, 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 Bangkok, Thailand (nadir pass), Hyderabad, India (looking a touch right for this major inland city), Lahore, Pakistan (nadir pass), Khartoum, Sudan (near nadir pass: looking at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. Omdurman is the sister city [now mainly a major immigrant squatter camp] west of the rivers, but part of this urban region), Pipeline fire, Basra (Dynamic event. Thick black smoke plume from ruptured and burning oil pipeline in southern Iraq is reported. Rupture appears due to lack of maintenance rather than terrorism), Patagonian Glaciers (opportunity continues for images of the small glaciers on the drier, eastern flank of the southern Andes), Lagos, Nigeria (looking off nadir right of track for this major coastal city), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (nadir pass. The city now sprawls tens of km away from its center, mainly on the low ground between numerous sugarloaf hills), Dakar, Senegal (nadir pass), and Monterrey, Mexico (nadir pass over Mexico’s second city and manufacturing center).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of today, 1:27pm EST).

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 on Standby

  • (ready in dual-bed mode). TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating. SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 and ppCO2 monitoring. MCA (major constituents analyzer) is in Life Extending Mode (LEM). BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode. RS air conditioner SKV-1 is On, SKV-2 is Off (repair now completed; to be tested ASAP).
  • SM Working Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — 153.0; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.8;
  • SM Transfer Compartment: Pressure (mmHg) — 739; temperature (deg C) — 20.5.
  • FGB Cabin: Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node: Pressure (mmHg) — 748.34; temperature (deg C) — 24.2 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab: Pressure (mmHg) — 749.97; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock): Pressure (mmHg) — 750.07; temperature (deg C) — 24.7; shell heater temp (deg C) — 23.7, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.8
  • PMA-2: Shell heater temp (deg C) — 13.2

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational. BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (suntracking) and bias-angled 43 deg. for drag reduction (“sun slicer”)
  • SM batteries: Battery #8 is off-line; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • FGB batteries: Battery #6 is off-line (capacity restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems:

  • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is back-up, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-1 is On (primary), EXT-2 is Off.
  • 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): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string 1 dropped out 11/22/03).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22/03).
  • FGB MDM-1 is Off (failed); MDM-2 is Operational.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 3926 kg (8655 lb) as of 3/26/04; [SM(755) + FGB(2512) + Progress M-1(659)]. (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • 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 3/28.

Communications & Tracking Systems:

  • 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 Orbit (as of this morning, 6:14am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 366.6 km
  • Apogee — 373.7km
  • Perigee — 359.5 km
  • Period — 91.88 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.6304 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0010554
  • Solar Beta Angle — 18.2 (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 120 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98) — 30533

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

SpaceRef staff editor.