Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 4, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 Feb 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Underway: Week 15 for Increment 8.

After Station inspection, before breakfast and first exercise, CDR/SO Michael Foale and FE Alexander Kaleri performed their seventh session of the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement) and PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement).  [Kaleri set up the BMM mass-measuring device, which uses 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 effectiveness of countermeasures.]

Alex Kaleri transferred the hardware for the Russian “Matryoshka” payload from Progress 13P to the Service Module (SM) and set it up for operation in the Russian segment (RS).   [Matryoshka collects 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 RS as well as byin a spherical body-simulating Matryoshka-R  “phantom”.  Part of the activity was photo documentation of the setup with the Nikon D1 digital camera.  Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nestling dolls.]

Mike Foale performed the monthly maintenance of the RED (resistive exercise device), including inspection of canister bolts, for tightening if required.  He also transferred exercise data files from the TVIS treadmill to the medical equipment computer (MEC) for subsequent downlink and completed the weekly TVIS maintenance, including the regular inspection of the wire ropes for signs of fraying.

Sasha Kaleri installed the electronics box containing the US-21 matching unit in the 13P/Progress vehicle (TGK).  The installation was then checked out by MCC-M/TsUP and the BITS telemetry reconnected.   [The US-21 matching unit connects the Progress motion control and DPO thrusters systems to the SM, so that they can be commanded by the SM computer system (BVS).  After bolting the box down, Kaleri hooked it up with the telemetry (TM) connector to the BITS2-12 onboard TM system, after the ground had inhibited data output to the VD-SU control system mode, powered off the BITS and deactivated BMP, Elektron, and the Vozdukh and DC-1 SOTR (thermal system) control algorithms.  These systems were subsequently turned back on by TsUP, which then conducted an electric activation test of the US-21 without crew involvement.]

The CDR collected and retrieved EVA tool items from the Airlock (A/L) deck, preparatory to the upcoming reconfiguration of the A/L for stowing the new Orlan spacesuit equipment brought up by Progress 13P.

The crew continued cargo transfers from the Progress resupply ship, referring to a detailed Russian and US transfer/unpack list, which includes ESA payloads for guest cosmonaut André Kuipers, to accommodate stowage in the Lab.

Foale familiarized himself with the new 13P-delivered hardware of the U.S. GAP (Group activation Packs) Yeast experiment, then activated it for operation.   [The experiment uses yeast cells to study how microgravity is altering the cells’ makeup and potentially their function.  Yeast cells are eukaryotic, i.e., they contain a distinct nucleus bound by a cell membrane very similar to mammalian cells.  The latter would be difficult to study in microgravity due to the large and complex makeup of their genome (i.e., the entire group of genes that make up each living creature and determine its traits). Yeast cells are far simpler and have a much smaller, well-characterized genome.  The yeast cells are being cultured inside GAPs — a cell growth and storage system developed by BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  Two GAPs were delivered on 13P, each containing eight FPAs (Fluid Processing Apparatuses) that hold the yeast cultures, growth medium and fixative (a chemical used to preserve the cells for post-flight examination).  To activate the experiment, the SO had to insert a crank into the top of the GAP, causing the yeast cells to mix with the liquid growth medium. The cells will grow in the cultures for three days. Then the crank will be turned again, releasing the fixative.]

Mike also conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, while Sasha prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” update file for automatic database export/import.

The crew worked out on TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.

Without requiring crew involvement, TsUP ran a test of the Progress Kvant-P radio command system.

The station continues in solar-oriented XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane) attitude, with the solar array wings biased 45 degrees backward for drag reduction, until 2/5.   [By using a 60 deg sweep and 47 deg bias for the arrays, engineers expect to reduce the yearly prop requirements by 1%.]

Today’s CEO (crew earth observations) targets, in the current XPOP attitude constrained by flight rule to fewer near-vertical targets due to Lab window shutter closure and current condensation-prevention plan (limited to 90 min. in 24 hours), were Cyclone Elita, Mozambique (this minimal hurricane has formed from an Indian Ocean storm that strengthened on reaching the warm water of the Mozambique Channel.  Looking left for characteristic strongly recurved cloud bands), Okavango delta, Botswana (Dynamic event.  The highly visible, dark green riverine forests of this “inland delta” are a rich swampland in the middle of the otherwise waterless Kalahari Desert.  The area of swamp vegetation changes seasonally, but also varies with El Nino cycles.  A general image of the swampland was requested: nadir-looking views and views rightward), Patagonian Glaciers (low sun angles at sunrise should provide good oblique, context views (panoramas) of the southern Andes and their ice fields: looking left into the clear sector), Plankton blooms, Peru (Dynamic event.  ISS passed over the main plankton production zone on South America’s Pacific coast: looking right to include coastal features in any views), and Palmerston Island, Pacific (400mm-lens:  Nadir pass over this remote atoll.  The Palmerston lagoon, enclosed by many miles of coral reef, is 7 mi across; the scattered islets total only one sq mile of dry land).

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 12:46pm EST).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode).  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off; SKV-2 is Off (repair incomplete).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.6; ppO2 (mmHg) — 159.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 5.1;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 19.3.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 23.7.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 755.98; temperature (deg C) — 24.5 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 757.74; temperature (deg C) — 25.2; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg/psi) — 757.95; temperature (deg C) — 26.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.4, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.5
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 10.8.

(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 45 deg. for drag reduction. 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; battery #3 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); battery #2 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 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-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is Off (both now upgraded to R3).
  • 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).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 3482 kg (7676 lb) as of 1/29/04  [SM(755) + FGB(2727) + Progress M(0) + Progress M-1(0)].  (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).

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 MBS PDGF #1/LEE B, with Keep Alive (KA) power on both strings.
  • MBS: KA 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 — 368.1 km
  • Apogee — 373.3 km
  • Perigee — 363.0 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0007625
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.67
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 90 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29717

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

SpaceRef staff editor.