Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Jan 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
January 29, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Jan 2004

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

Progress 13P (M1-11 or No. 260) lifted off perfectly this morning on
its Soyuz launcher, on time at 6:58am EST.  The cargo ship is on its
way to rendezvous with ISS on Saturday (1/31), after 33 orbits.  There
will be two maneuver burns today (DV1, DV2), one maneuver burn
tomorrow (DV3), and several adjustment burns on docking day, with
Progress TORU TV activation at ~7:30am.  Docking is then to take place
at 8:14am.  [13P is carrying 2345 kg (5,171 lbs) of cargo, including a
new flexhose for the Lab science window that caused the recent small
air leak, replacement parts for the Elektron O2 generator, an entire
spare Elektron unit, new SFOGs (solid-fuel oxygen generator)
“candles”, 800A batteries for the FGB and SM modules, SM gas analyzer
equipment, updated fire suppression and detection equipment, a new
Russian Orlan spacesuit to replace one currently on the station that
has exceeded its lifetime, the “Matryoshka” European radiation
experiment) for installation on the SM exterior during the upcoming
spacewalk, other ESA experiments for André Kuipers, coming up in April
in Soyuz 8S, film, cameras and cassettes, etc.]

FE Alexander Kaleri performed maintenance on the Elektron oxygen
generator to ensure bubble-free water flow from the BZh Liquid
Unit.  [Sasha made appropriate connections and filled the KOV thermal
loops’ EDV purified water container with supply water for the
Elektron-VM from the Rodnik BV-1 switch panel, looking for air bubbles
during the procedure.]

CDR Michael Foale performed a lens change on the EarthKAM system at
its Service Module (SM) window, going from 50mm to the 180mm-lens
configuration.  [EarthKAM deactivation and stow is scheduled for 1/31

Mike also conducted an onboard training (OBT)/familiarization session
with the PromISS-3 (Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital
Holographic Microscope 3) experiment. 

Kaleri performed the regular periodic air sampling in the station,
first using the standard Russian AK-1M sampler device in the Service
Module (SM), FGB and Lab.  Then, to test the SM for Freon, he used the
AK-1M-F air sampler.  Later, testing for CO (carbon monoxide) levels,
he collected air samples in the SM and DC-1 docking compartment with
the IPD Draeger tubes sampler.

Sasha collected and stowed the FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit)
monitors, deployed by him two days ago.

Mike Foale completed the periodic inspection of PBAs (portable
breathing apparatus) and PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), verifying
that the equipment is free of damage. [This information is needed in
order to ensure functionality and to track shelf life/life cycles on
the hardware.]

The FE continued the current round of monthly preventive maintenance
on Russian segment air ventilation systems, today in the FGB
(Funktsionalnyi-grusovoi Blok), first changing out the two PS1/PS2
dust collector filters.   [The replaced units were prepared for
disposal and accordingly entered in the IMS (inventory management
system) database.]

CDR Foale used the U.S. sound level meter (SLM) to take a 2-hr.
acoustic survey at 41 locations in the Lab, Node, Airlock, FGB, SM and
DC-1 docking compartment.  [These acoustic measurements are obtained
every other month (last time done: 12/11/03).  The SLM gives
instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are
transferred to the MEC (medical equipment computer) laptop via an
RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (crew health care
systems) data dump or via OCA.]

Kaleri conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life
support system, and prepared the daily IMS (inventory management
system) “delta” file for automatic export/import to update the

At 8:50am EST, the crew had their weekly conference with the JSC
Astronaut Office (Kent Rominger).

The crew performed their regular daily physical exercise on TVIS
treadmill, RED resistive exerciser and VELO ergometer with load

The CDR completed his tenth weekly filling-out of the Food Frequency
Questionnaire (FFQ), which keeps a log of his nutritional intake over
time on the MEC. 

At 5:15am EST, the crew downlink greetings to the 2004 Leadership
Conference of UNILINKS COMPANY.  [“We, the cosmonauts, know too well
what it takes to make a faraway and beautiful goal to become
reachable: 1. Dedication of each crewmember to the common cause;  2.
Clearly defined objectives;  3. Teamwork to reach these objectives; 
4. Constant search of new ways, since new objectives require new
solutions, and  5. Ability to work at required pace; it is not enough
to reach space speed; you have to maintain it through your journey.”] 

At 12:05pm, the crew was scheduled to downlink a message commemorate
the fallen astronauts of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.  [Apollo 1
(1/27/67): Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee.  Challenger
(1/28/86): Francis “Dick” Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ronald
McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe.  Columbia
(1/29/2003): Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, David M. Brown,
Kalpana Chawla, Michael P. Anderson, Laurel B. Clark, Ilan Ramon.]

At 12:40pm, the crew will conduct a teleconference with participants
of the 32nd Pan-Russian COSMOS competition at MCC-M/TsUP, via Ku- and

Two payloads launched by ESA on 13P have raised some concern from a
toxic spill standpoint: HEAT (containing 14 grams of ammonia (NH3),
and ARGES (containing 20 light bulbs, each with 8-10 mgof elemental
mercury).  During the safety review, both were deemed safe to
fly.   [Both payloads havethe appropriate levels of containment andno
credible failurecases were found to release the chemicals into the ISS
cabin atmosphere.  However, despite the payloads’ robust design, from
an operational standpoint it was felt it necessary to assume possible
worst-case scenarios and be prepared for a toxic spill.  The crew was
informed, and appropriate monitoring and safety response procedures
were or are being uplinked.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, in the current LVLH
attitude no longer limited by flight rule constraints on the use of
the Lab nadir/science window, except for the shutter closure and
condensation-prevention plan (limited to 90 min. in 24 hours),
wereBeijing, China (city center just left of track),Tianjin, China
(city center of Beijing’s huge port was just right of track),Bombay,
India (city center on the major bay right of track), S Georgia
plankton & icebergs(Dynamic events.  Looking right towards the
archipelago: major eddies are evident in plankton blooms northwest of
S Georgia, and many small centers of vigorous blooming appear north
and west of the main island),Plankton, Patagonia(Dynamic event. Major
bloom occupies Argentina’s southernmost large bay. Nadir
pass),Plankton, Falklands(Dynamic events. Looking nadir for plankton
to the north of the Falklands: east-west structure in bloom pattern
and a productivity high about one degree north of the islands),Ancient
glacial rivers, Libya(400mm-lens:  Ideal pass for a detailed mapping
swath, about one degree right of track.  Subglacial streambeds are
narrow and slightly meandering.  They contain highly porous sediment
that host water and hydrocarbons where buried.  Understanding the
larger pattern of these ancient drainages is underway), and Inland
deltas, N Amazon basin (pass along the edge of an equatorial cloud
mass: in this area where photography is always cloud limited, looking
left for inland deltas — formed by tributaries between the Rio Negro
and hill country along the north side of the Amazon basin).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 2:38am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 368.6 km
  • Apogee — 373.8 km
  • Perigee — 363.4 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007739
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 100 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29637

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

SpaceRef staff editor.