Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 Apr 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 30, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 Apr 2004

Yest’ posadka!  (There’s Landing!)  Welcome back home, Mike, Sasha and André!   Thus, Increment 9 has smoothly gotten underway — to last 183 days to Soyuz 8S undock on 10/19.  Main events for Gennady Padalka & Michael Fincke’s Increment 9 will include three EVAs and unpacking of two Progress ships (14P — not earlier than 5/27; 15P — on or about 7/30), while facing fairly big challenges with onboard stowage & with trash disposal.

Expedition 8, with the VC6/ESA crewmember, touched down at 8:11pm EDT in northern Kazakhstan, right on target and surprisingly soft, with the bell-shaped capsule remaining in upright position. [The automatic deorbit burn took place at 7:20pm, for 4m 17s and nominal 115 m/s delta-V.  Russian SAR helicopters acquired Soyuz on its parachute visually at 7:58pm, and the touchdown was flawlessly smoothed by the soft-landing rockets.  With this landing, Michael Foale and Alexander Kaleri racked up 194 days 18 hours 35 minutes in space (192 days aboard the station).  Some stats from the Record Book: With a total endurance time of 374 days accumulated in his 6 space flights, Mike Foale now has become the first U.S. Astronaut to exceed one year of “space time”, breaking Carl Walz’ record of 231 days (4 flights) and moving to position #16 of the overall record list of international space flyers.  Sasha Kaleri now stands at 611 days, accumulated in 4 flights, placing him in position #5 (still ahead: Krikalev, Solovyev, Polyakov and Avdeyev, the latter with the world-record of 748 days, amassed in 3 flights).

On board the ISS, now under new management, all systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously.

After sleeping in until 4:55am EDT to make up for last night’s late turn-in, the new crew of Commander (CDR) Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer/Science Officer (FE/SO) Michael Fincke began having the huge space station all to themselves in an off-duty day for well deserved rest and acclimatization to the new living environment.

Padalka destowed and started out on the Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa (“bracelet/questionnaire”) test procedure which requires him evaluate a number of “bracelet” cuffs for their usefulness in suppressing the adverse effects of micro-G for the “newcomer” aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness.  [The “bracelets” are compression cuffs attached to a belt and worn on the upper thighs over the coveralls, intended as countermeasures against the initial micro-G effects of blood filling (vascularity) in the upper torso (heaviness and blood pulsation in the head), facial puffiness, nasal stuffiness, painful eye movement, and vestibular disorders (dizziness, nausea, vomiting).  They create artificial blood accumulation in the upper thirds of the thighs, causing some of the circulating blood volume to relocate from the upper body to the lower extremities, thereby (hopefully) correcting the adverse hemodynamic effect of micro-G and thus improving the crewmember’s working capability.  The actual compression cuff in the Braslet units is a combination of alternating multi-layer tensile and non-tensile elements, whose distension by body movements creates elastic forces that produce the necessary pressure on the body surface.]

At the Lab’s medical equipment computer (MEC), Mike Fincke set up the new Exp. 9 software and installed it in the laptop, after dumping Exp. 8 files.  He also updated the physical exercise protocol on the MEC for Gennady and himself and then configured the MEC software to receive Exp. 9-specific HRM (heart rate monitor) data.

Padalka meanwhile took the regular ppCO2 (carbon dioxide partial pressure) readings in the Service Module (SM) and Lab with the CDMK (carbon dioxide monitoring kit) for calldown along with battery status. [These weekly readings in both modules, using the same CDMK unit, are used for trending of CO2 levels on ISS to assess IMV (intermodular ventilation) efficacy between the U.S. and Russian segments.]

Mike Fincke performed 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 confirmed a steady leak rate of ~27 Torr/day (from the cabin into the interstitial volume).]

In the SM, Gennady performed the routine technical maintenance of the SOZh environment control & life support system, incl. the toilet equipment (ASU), while Mike conducted the regular routine status checkup of autonomous payloads in the Lab (PCG-STES010, CGBA, SAMS, MAMS).

At 10:00am EDT, the Airlock CCAA (common cabin air assembly), which provided humidity control during the five-person occupancy, was deactivated by ground command.  For the two-man crew, the SKV-1 air conditioner in the Russian segment suffices for condensate collection. [The job of transferring temporarily removed stowage equipment back in the Airlock remains to be done.]

Padalka performed the regular once-a-week maintenance reboot on the operational PCS laptops and also restarted the SSC OCA comm router laptop (normally every two weeks).

At ~11:30am, the crew had their weekly teleconference with the ISS Flight Director at MCC-H (Orbit-2 Team/John Curry). [Flight Control Team (FCT) handovers (1 hr) currently take place at 8:00am, 4:00pm, 12:00am.]

The crew performed their physical exercise on TVIS treadmill, plus RED exerciser for Fincke and VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer for Padalka. [TsUP/Moscow uplinked the standard restrictions recommended for Padalka in workouts with the NS-1 load trainer, whose use is limited by ISS structural constraints.  Prescribed are medium tempo (0.33 Hz, one full motion in three seconds) and fast tempo (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.]

An addition to Gennady’s Russian task list for today was the job of disassembling and stowing the “Relaksatsiya” hardware, mounted by him at SM window #9 yesterday for observing the 7S/Soyuz thruster plumes during the deorbit maneuver.

Also requested of the CDR per “job jar” task list was the teardown and stowage of the KUB Topaz and KUB Amber incubators/centrifuges transferred yesterday to the SM.

Gennady had another ops session for “Uragan” earth observations on his discretionary task list, calling for use of the Kodak 760 electronic still camera with 400mm and 800mm lenses and the LIV video camera at SM windows #6-8 to make observations and take imagery of selected targets, mostly for geography lessons in schools. [Target designations for today included Lisbon/Portugal and the islands at the mouth of the Tagus river, Seville and Malaga in Spain, Melilla on Africa’s Mediterranean coast, Lake Chad, the African Great Rift (the largest fracture of the Earth’s crust), and the Kuril Islands.]

At the time of the planned EVA to replace the CMG-2 RPCM (remote power controller module), heaters for the Lab starboard ETVCG (external TV camera group) will be deactivated because of necessary shutdown of their DDCC (DC-to-DC Converter Unit).  To ensure the camera’s survival during the EVA, thermal testing is being planned to determine how its internal temperatures can be maintained within operational limits. [Proposals include (1) turning off the ETVCG heaters and observing decrease to better characterize the time to reach lower thermal limits on the hardware, and (2) using the ETVCG Luminaire light as a secondary source of heating to the camera.]

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 Detroit, Michigan (nadir pass.  Trying to shoot the outer margins of this and other cities), Washington, D.C. (good pass over the nation’s capital), Sao Paulo, Brazil (nadir pass over this megacity of more than 22 million [16.3 million in 1990].  Sao Paulo lies 70 km inland from its port city of Santos), Los Angeles, CA (although there may have been coastal fog, the rest of the city should have been visible right of track), and Guadalajara, Mexico (this regional capital lies on the edge of the prominent Rio Grande canyon which limits urban growth in a northeast direction).

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, 1:55pm 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) — 25.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — 155.6; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.2;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 761; temperature (deg C) — 20.7.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 756; temperature (deg C) — 22.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748.34; temperature (deg C) — 22.5 (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) — 750.27; temperature (deg C) — 23.3; 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, 6:43am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 361.7 km
  • Apogee — 369.3 km
  • Perigee — 354.2 km
  • Period — 91.78 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0011189
  • Solar Beta Angle — 16.5 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)  — 31082

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

SpaceRef staff editor.