Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 May 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
May 3, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 May 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.   Underway: Week 1 of Expedition 9.

After station inspection and morning hygiene, before breakfast and first exercise, CDR Gennady Padalka and FE/SO Michael Fincke performed their first session of the periodic Russian biomedical assessments PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement) and PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement). Padalka set up the MO-8 “scales” equipment and later broke it down and stowed it away. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG 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. For determining body ass in zero-G, where things are weightless (but not massless), the Russian IM “scales” measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed].

Still before breakfast, Padalka and Fincke both underwent the periodic Russian MedOps test MO-10 “Gematokrit”, a 10-min procedure to determine the red blood cell count (hematocrit) of his blood. Each crewmember assisted the other by performing the blood draw from his finger with a perforator lancet. [The samples were then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit’s minicentrifuge and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass. The samples were packed for return. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time, probably as a function of (rich) oxygen partial pressure in the onboard atmosphere.]

After setting up the video hardware for recording the activity, Mike Fincke performed the general MedOps PFE (periodic fitness evaluation), a 1.5-hr. procedure that checks up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram during programmed exercise on the CEVIS in the Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph), with CDR Padalka assisting his crewmate as CMO (crew medical officer). The video equipment was then stowed again. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise. The video is required for biomechanical evaluation of the subject and his equipment setup during data collection.]

Mike conducted the daily leak check of the Lab window’s inter-pane volume, using the “Aeolus” scopemeter with pressure probe. [Past readings, dating back to March, have found a steady leak rate of ~27 Torr (0.52 psi) per day from the cabin into the interstitial volume (i.e., not overboard).]

The FE initiated another maintenance charging/discharging cycle on EMU/spacesuit batteries in the Airlock’s BSA (battery stowage assembly), today on batteries #2045 and #2046.   [The automatically controlled charging takes about 24 hrs and will be followed by discharge. Helmet light and PGT (pistol grip tool) batteries were not charged at this time and had to be removed from the BSA beforehand. After the procedure, the batteries will be stowed them in the Airlock (A/L), with their 50-day clock reset.]

In the SM, Gennady Padalka completed the routine technical maintenance of the SOZh environment control & life support system.

On the SM toilet system (ASU), CDR Padalka performed a 3.5-hr. routine maintenance job, replacing equipment such as its PR urine receptacle with F-V filter on the KTO solid waste container, an annunciator, four hoses and two fittings.

Mike prepared the daily IMS delta file for updating the inventory management system’s databases.

Both crewmembers had time set aside for general station familiarization and acclimatization, as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

Fincke completed his first PEP (portable emergency provisions) inspection, verifying that PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), PBAs (portable breathing apparatus), QDMs (quick-don masks) and the oxygen extension hose tee kit are all free of damage, to ensure their functionality. All checks were nominal.   [There are a total of five PBAs in the U.S. segment, viz., two in Node lockers, two in Lab module forward and aft endcone lockers, and one in the Airlock PEP locker.]

The FE also signed in and performed his first session with the psychological MedOps WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) experiment.   [This is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmember’s or flight surgeon’s request.]

Mike performed the 30-min. checkout of the MedOps cardiac defibrillator, a periodic routine task that is scheduled as soon as possible from Expedition start and every 60 days thereafter.   [For the checkout, the defib is connected to the 120V outlet, equipped with its battery, today #1008, and then allowed to charge, for about five seconds, to a preset energy level (e.g., 100 joules). After the button-triggered discharge, a console indicator signals success or failure of the test. The pacing signal was to be downlinked via S-band for 1.5 min.]

For documentation at Increment start, the FE performed POSSUM (Payload On-orbit Still Shots for Utilization and Maintenance) photo documentation on all payload racks in the Lab, focusing with medium close-ups on the cable routing and fire hole access for all payloads.   [POSSUM is a payload photo activity, which obtains electronic still shots of any subrack and locker payload that is moved or reconfigured.]

Both crewmembers had their weekly PFCs (private family conferences), via Ku-band/video.

Today’s CEO 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), were Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya (this key equatorial site, seldom seen due to cloud, may protrude above local cloud. Detailed images requested of the mountaintop glaciers that are expected to disappear within 15 years), Betsiboka River delta, Madagascar (recent imagery of the heavily silted estuary of Madagascar’s largest river has shown numerous changes in the last 20 years, including the growth of several new islands. New islands become permanently fixed by mangrove vegetation. Detailed images were requested), Bahamas Islands (coral reefs in the island chain are the main features of interest. Shooting any near-nadir coral reefs, near or surrounding the cays), and Lake Poopo, Bolivia (general views of the lake, nearby dry lakes [prominent white features], and Lake Titicaca; it would be useful to see the general present lake level situation. All these lakes rise slowly during non-El Nino years and decline rapidly during El Nino events [counter to high rainfall in the Tacoma Desert along the coast]).

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, 1:12pm EDT).

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 Off. TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating. SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 & 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 (SM panel mods completed 4/8; SKV-2 activation failed 4/20). SFOG slot#2 fan suspect (not usable).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — 155.5; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.4;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.7.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 22.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 747.71; temperature (deg C) — 23.1 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 750.17; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 750.37; temperature (deg C) — 23.2; shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • (n/a = data not available)
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a.

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational. BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Dual Angle mode (non-solar tracking, set at 90 deg sweep).
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #1 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 backup, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-2 MDM is prime; GNC-1 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, 11/21/03); MDM-2 is Operational.

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 3787 (8349 lb) as of 4/23/04;  [SM(755) + FGB(2373) + Progress M-1(659)]. (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 2 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed, since 6/6/02; CMG-2 RPC-17 failed 4/21/04).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • LVLH XVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -9 deg, roll: 0 deg]), with CMG/TA (thruster assist) Momentum Management.

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 (may require a mask).
  • 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, 8:13am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 361.3 km
  • Apogee — 368.8 km
  • Perigee — 353.8 km
  • Period — 91.77 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0011166
  • Solar Beta Angle — 31.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.69
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 130 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 31130
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.