Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 October 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
October 28, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 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. 

After morning inspection, before breakfast and first exercise, CDR/SO Chiao and FE Sharipov performed their first session of the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement).  [Sharipov set up the BMM mass-measuring device, which uses a “scale” of calibrated springs to determine the subject’s mass in weightless space, and stowed it away after the tests.  Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the ISOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference points, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and of the effectiveness of countermeasures.]

On the MedOps defibrillator equipment, successfully checked out yesterday, Leroy Chiao initiated the regular recharge process on battery #1 to full capacity and subsequently performed it also on battery #2.  The task was concluded with a battery voltage check.   [Each battery was charged for ~3.5 hrs, and its open-circuit voltage was tested at the end with the Aeolus volt/amp scopemeter (checked out yesterday), then removed and stowed again.  Nominally, the defib has a battery installed at all times, but with this particular unit the PDIM (power data interface module) is not functioning properly and would overcharge the batteries if left inside.  They have to be charged every 60 days along with the defib checkout.]

After lunch, Chiao and Sharipov started today’s main task: the standard two-hour emergency OBT (on-board training) drill, with Russian and US specialists standing by at both control centers in case the crew had questions or comments.  The rule is that the emergency egress exercise should be performed by every new station crew once within seven days after departure of the previous crew.   [Some background: Purpose of the drill is to familiarize the station residents with the stowage locations of emergency equipment and the position of valves used in emergency situations, to work through the Russian Segment (RS) deactivation procedures, and to develop crew emergency joint measures.  Crewmembers are to verify ISS readiness for emergency response by performing specific actions such as ascertaining the locations of emergency equipment, inspecting all translation paths to the Soyuz CRV and determining any obstructions that would hinder an emergency egress, inspecting all vehicle hatchways and determining if hatchways can be easily cleared in the event of an emergency, reviewing and discussing methods to disconnect air-ducts that run through Russian hatches (without disconnecting any permanent hardware), determining the accessibility of all communications panels and hardware, of specific fireports, deployed and stored instruments and kits (such as CSA-CPs and CCPKs, =crew contamination protection kits), and confirming that specific valves are in the expected configuration. The exercise is usually topped off by a thorough debrief with the ground.]

Previous Reports

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

Salizhan conducted a preparatory procedures review, in two parts, for the periodic inspection and photo-documentation of the window panes in the Russian segment (RS), working in the Service Module (SM) and DC-1 docking module.  The self-training sessions were supported by tagups with ground specialists via S-band.  The observations will be recorded in image and text files for subsequent downlink via U.S. OCA assets.   [Objective of the inspection, using digital still camera (Nikon D1 or Kodak 760) and voice recorder, will be to assess the pane surfaces for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection (performed by Alexander Kaleri on 1/5/04).  The new assessment will be compared to the earlier observations.  Defects are measured with the parallax method which uses eyeball-sighting with a ruler and a right isosceles triangle to determine the formations’ size and position with respect to the window’s internal surface (parallax being the apparent change in an object’s position resulting from changing the observer’s position).]

The FE transferred new accumulated Matryoshka measurement tables from the Matryoshka server (BSPN) via broadband Ethernet to a PCMCIA memory card via Wiener laptop (using a program called ShellForKE) for subsequent downlink on U.S. OCA comm.  Afterwards he “cleaned up” the BSPN folders for receiving new data.  [Matryoshka automatically takes radiation 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.]

The Science Officer performed the scheduled lens change on the EarthKAM system at the Lab science window, going from 50mm to the 180mm-lens configuration.  [EarthKAM was activated for the first time for Increment 10 on Tuesday, 10/26.  Greetings from grateful students at Wissahickon Middle School were linked up overnight.  There will be a second session later in this increment.]

Sharipov transferred the accumulated data files of his BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) plant growth experiment to the Packet laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via Regul comm.

After preparing the new CMS HRM (crew medical systems/heart rate monitor) software on the MEC (medical equipment computer), Leroy completed the periodic transfer of accumulated data files from the HRM to the MEC, then erased them on the HRM.

The CDR also 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.  In addition, he prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) delta file for export/import to the IMS databases.

Both crewmembers completed their daily 2.5-hr. physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with NS-1 load trainer.  Leroy’s RED protocols for Weeks 2-7 were uplinked onto the MEC, so next Monday he can start using this application to document his daily exercise.   [Some details: For his TVIS exercise, Salizhan is using one of two newly delivered Exercise Loading Suits (TNK-U-1) with TVIS SLD (subject loading device), set for a vertical load of at least 54 kg (representative of his Earth weight).  On the VELO, his workouts with the NS-1 are limited by ISS structural constraints.  Prescribed are medium speed (0.33 Hz, one full motion in three seconds) and fast speed (not to exceed 0.5 Hz, one full motion in two seconds), with medium tempo allowed for simulated rowing and bending/straightening at the waist plus trunk flexing exercises, and fast tempo for simulated hammer throw and lower arm flexing/extending.]

Leroy and Salizhan again had one hour set aside on today’s schedule for ISS familiarization, i.e., to adjust to their new surroundings and activities.   [This “free” session has become a valuable standard requirement for new station occupants for the first two weeks.]

Yesterday, the crew conducted two interactive TV interviews with CNN and ABC, with Chiao emphasizing his having voted from space.  This morning, Flight Control sent up kudos for the “most excellent interviews”.

P6 Battery Reconditioning Status:  Reconditioning of the P6 truss’ 4B solar array’s battery #2 (4B2) continues to go well.  As of last night, the battery was discharged for 24 hours per nominal procedure.  The batteries are currently in charge mode until obtaining 103 amp-hours.  They will then be discharged until all cells reach 0.1V.  Because the P6 solar arrays are in full solar autotracking for providing more power during the reconditioning, in the current XVV attitude they incur higher orbital drag, thus altitude decay, than in the nominal “Night Glider” mode.  Once we are back in XPOP, the effect will be considerably reduced.   [Some details: Nickel hydrogen batteries can develop and display “memory loss” resulting in a temporary loss of capacity that should be periodically erased by “reconditioning”, i.e., cycling all material by fully discharging and charging cells.  On orbit reconditioning provides data on battery cell divergence, which provides an early indication of battery failure and a true measure of battery capacity and age.  Each Battery set is estimated to take seven days for reconditioning.  During reconditioning one BCDU/Battery Set will be off line.]

During appropriate RGS (Russian ground site) comm passes, TsUP/Moscow continued testing of the new RGS 34 (Shelkovo) integrated systems of command hardware & software using Progress 15P as a test bed without impacting its MCS (motion control system) or thrusters.  Crew support was again not required.

POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) reported that the onboard SAMS (space acceleration measurement system), inoperative for the last few days, is now up again and running nominally.

Upcoming Key Events (revised):  Station attitude, currently in LVLH XVV (local vertical/local horizontal, x-axis in velocity vector), will be changed to solar array testing attitude on 10/31 (9:14am EDT), followed by XPOP on the same day at 2:50pm EST.  XPOP will be maintained until switching back to LVLH on 11/16.  A date of 11/17 for the station reboost was set by the IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) this morning, with backup opportunity on 11/18.  The Soyuz relocation is now moved back to 11/29 (no earlier than), preceded by a hot-fire test of its thrusters. The IMMT also agreed that the new SIGI (space integrated GPS/inertial navigation system) R2 firmware upload activities are GO pending completion of safety procedural modifications.   [Some background: SIGI uses four commercial GPS antennas mounted on the S0 (S-Zero) truss.  The system, supported by four RGAs (rate gyro assemblies), can determine station attitude, position and velocity.  In the past, there have been some glitches in the system’s operations thought to be due to XPOP attitude, in which not as many GPS satellites are “seen” as in earth-oriented LVLH).]

Today’s CEO photo targets, in the current LVLH attitude not limited by flight rule constraints on the use of the Lab nadir/science window, were Khartoum, Sudan (this urban area is located at the confluence of the White and Blue Nile Rivers.  Khartoum is a good example of a “low contrast” urban photography target, blending into the surrounding desert, but its images can be enhanced), and Beni River dynamics, Bolivia (weather is predicted to be clearing over the river basin, and this nadir pass provided an opportunity for river channel mapping.  The river has a very sinuous channel shape with numerous meanders and cutoff meander bends (oxbow lakes).  Mapping of the current river channel is important for change detection and stream hydrology studies).

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 10 crew visit:

Expedition 10 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.

ISS Location NOW

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Real Time ISS TrackerMore Links

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 9:03am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 359.4 km
  • Apogee height — 365.2 km
  • Perigee height — 353.7 km
  • Period — 91.73 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0008506
  • Solar Beta Angle — 11.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.70
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 190 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 33926


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.