Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 27, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 Feb 2004

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

Today’s sleep cycle is a bit unusual:  After wakeup later today at 2:00pm EST, the crew faces a long day, with sleep beginning tomorrow noon at 12:30pm.  But in between, they have a 2.5-hr. period for “napping”.  The nap is scheduled to begin early tomorrow morning at 1:00am, lasting until 3:30am.

Last night’s EVA-9, after starting on schedule at 4:17pm EST, was cut short by ~1h 40m due to breakdown of the internal cooling of FE Kaleri’s Orlan-M suit.  Becoming apparent at ~7:00pm, the loss of heat removal raised internal temperature and caused condensation in the suit (helmet and visor), which obstructed Sasha’s vision.  After TsUP/Moscow ordered the crew back to the DC-1 docking compartment, hatch was closed at 8:12pm, terminating the spacewalk after a total duration: 3h 56m (instead of 5h 35m planned).   [Post-EVA inspection of Kaleri’s suit uncovered a bent (kinked) tube in the belt region of his liquid cooling garment (KVO), restricting water flow to the point of cooling breakdown.  When straightened out by the CDR, flow was reestablished.  TsUP is investigating how the tube could have become bent.]

This was the 52nd ISS assembly EVA, bringing total EVA time to 322h 33m.  It was also the 27th spacewalk from ISS (as opposed to docked-Shuttle EVAs), and the 9th Russian spacewalk from the DC-1 “Pirs” module.  (See also our website at )

EVA-9 accomplished a bit more than 50% of its objectives.  Completed were

  • Retrieval of one of the two Japanese MPAC/SEED (Micro-Particles Capture/Space Environment Data Acquisition) payloads (installed, along with the Kromka tray, by Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin on the outside of the SM during EVA-3 on10/15/2001), and relocation of the second suit-case sized collector for more exposure time;
  • Retrieval of an SKK#1 replaceable cassette container with sample materials mounted on the DC-1 and its replacement with SKK#2;
  • Installation of the ESA payload “Matryoshka” on the SM for measuring radiation (using the multi-layered human torso simulator “Phantom”, electrically connected to an onboard laptop for long-term monitoring); and
  • Removal of two nonfunctional Aramid (Velcro) straps from the WA2 ham radio antenna (straps thrown overboard). 

The following objectives were not accomplished, all at the SM end cone:

  • Retrieval of SKK#2 sample container and its replacement with SKK#4;
  • Removal of laser retroreflector #3 (LRR-3) and relocation of LRR-5 for the European ATV (automated transfer vehicle);
  • Removal of jet effluents collector Kromka-2 and replacement with Kromka-3.  Rescheduling of these activities will be evaluated; and
  • Some photography added late to the EVA task list.

Last night, after post-EVA clean-up, the crew spent several hours reconfiguring the Soyuz TMA-3, the DC-1 and the remainder of the Russian segment (RS) to their initial conditions, essentially reversing the sequence of shutdowns executed yesterday morning.  Later, the crew also opened the hatches to the U.S. segment (USOS) and installed the IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) ducting between the FGB and the PMA-1 to avoid excessive condensation buildup in the USOS. 

After wake-up today at ~2:00pm EST, the crew will finish up with EVA closeout operations, starting with refilling the feedwater bladder of the Orlans, removing the BK-3 O2 tanks and batteries from the BRTA radio telemetry units, and initiating the dry-out process on the suits and gloves (which takes several hours).

CDR Michael Foale will also reconfigure all USOS systems to pre-EVA conditions.   [This includes the ITCS (internal thermal control system) jumpers (which Mike was asked to photograph in the current configuration to be downlinked at a future time for crew training), along with changing the low-temperature loop setpoint back down to 11.1 degC, returning the USOS PCS laptop from the RS, and reconfiguring the SSC (station support computer) network.]

On the Progress-260/13P, tonight FE Alex Kaleri will conduct another leak check on the vestibule between SM transfer tunnel (PrK) and the 13P’s cargo module (GrO), then open the transfer hatch and re-install the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the SSVP docking and internal transfer mechanism, to rigidize the coupling.

After subsequent Progress deactivation, a repressurization of the ISS with air from 13P is scheduled for 11:45pm EST.  This repress, estimated to take about an hour, is a regular post-EVA procedure.

The FE will perform the regular SOZh life support systems maintenance in the SM, while the CDR attends to the regular routine status checkup of autonomous Increment 8 payloads in the USOS.

After the nap:
Sasha Kaleri will start another regeneration cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the BMP harmful impurities unit in the SM, leaving channel 2 in Purify mode.  [The “bakeout” cycle in the filter beds is repeated every 20 days.  Each bakeout to space vacuum takes about 24 hours.]

The crew will complete EVA-9 closeout operations by packing up and stowing the retrieved folded Japanese MPAC/SEED container for return to Earth.

Foale is scheduled to take the regular ppCO2 (carbon dioxide partial pressure) readings in the SM and Lab with the CDMK (carbon dioxide monitoring kit).   [These weekly readings in both modules, using the same CDMK unit, are now being conducted for the next few weeks to help the ground better assess if IMV (intermodular ventilation) flow between the U.S. and Russian segments has become degraded.]

The crew will work out on CEVIS bike and TVIS treadmill (at their discretion), and Mike is then to download the accumulated data files from the exercise equipment to the MEC via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm.  The CDR will also perform the periodic (weekly) transfer of accumulated data files from the wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) receiver stations to the MEC for downlink, and then delete them on the HRM.  

At 1:30pm today, the ground powered up the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) and at 2:00pm will begin another external survey of the ISS with the robotarm’s video cameras.   [All commanding will be done from the ground, and specific target locations on the port side include Node, PMA-3, Airlock, Lab, SGANT (space-to-ground antenna), P1 and S0 trusses, and PV (photovoltaics) TCS radiators.]

Dinner is scheduled for 10:30am tomorrow morning, and the crew, as every day, will support the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) until the next sample collection phase later this year.

Today’s CEO targets, limited to those during the crew awake period, both today and tomorrow, are Galapagos Islands (occasional “baseline” images of Galapagos vegetation during non-El Nino years are interesting as a basis for comparison with the green-up on these desert islands during future El Ninos.  Looking left off track about 2.5 degrees of longitude), River patterns, Argentina (Dynamic event.  Looking obliquely right towards the glint disc for the unusual “pampas” landscape in the hinterland of Buenos Aires [a river landscape, i.e., wet climate, has been overlaid by a vast patchy dune field, i.e., desert climate, with a subsequent rise in water tables making lakes between the dunes, resulting in the present wet climate].  The crew captured an excellent, provocative mapping swath further north earlier in the mission), Tuamotu-Austral Islands (good descending pass moving southeast down the length of the island chain.  Shooting near-nadir views of any coral-fringed atolls), Tokyo, Japan (nadir pass. Tokyo proper has 12.3 million people, but Tokyo including suburbs is greater than 25 million, the largest urban agglomeration on the planet by some measures, having almost doubled since 1965. Tokyo lies at the meeting point of three tectonic plates:  its history of major earthquakes occurring roughly every 70 years is worrying city government since the last major quake occurred in 1923), Sydney, Australia (the metropolitan area [3.7 million] is growing faster than Australia’s average since immigrants choose the city ahead of other cities [fully 40% of immigrants live there]), Lahore, Pakistan (Pakistan’s second city, with a population of around 6 million.  This is a good nadir pass over the city), Delhi, India (looking slightly right for this city of 13.8 million on the Yamuna River), and Lagos, Nigeria (greater Lagos has ~15 million people and is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.  Nadir pass).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:19am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 365.8 km
  • Apogee — 369.9km
  • Perigee — 361.7 km
  • Period — 91.86 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.6296 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006031
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 150 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30095

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

SpaceRef staff editor.