Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 August 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 August 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.  Underway: Week 18 for Expedition 9.

After successfully passing two mandatory medical exams last week, which cleared them for this week’s spacewalk, the crew today completed another session of the bi-monthly Russian medical protocols Calf Volume Measurement (PZEh-MO-7) and Body Mass Measurement (PZEh-MO-8).  CDR Padalka set up the MO-8 “scales” equipment and FE/SO Fincke 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].

Unanimous Go-ahead for the EVA-11 spacewalk next Friday (9/3) was given today by the IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) after a review of objectives, constraints, Flight Rules, etc., and any still-open papers.   [One of the primary objectives of the excursion will be replacement of a failed liquid valve panel of thermal loop #1 external to the FGB that has long exceeded its certified lifetime.  An identical valve on the backup thermal loop #2 will be activated later today as a test of its readiness to take over in case the R&R is unsuccessful (loop #2 has worked well when first used but has since been kept in “cold” reserve for an extended period of time to preserve its life; also, there is only one spare valve available on orbit).]

Previous Reports

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

Preparations for the spacewalk began with the crew going through a 30-min. checkout of the EVA support panels (POV) in the DC-1 docking compartment/airlock and Service Module Transfer Compartment (SM PkhO).   [The functionality test of the hatch KVDs (pressure equalization valves, PEVs) via the POVs, both in the SM PkhO and in the DC1 “Pirs”, was conducted for several hours until shortly before sleep time.]

After unstowing their Orlan suits, Padalka and Fincke worked their way briskly through the elaborate checklist of inspecting, preparing, activating and testing the spacesuits and their ancillary equipment.  Progress was so smooth that some work originally scheduled for tomorrow was moved to today.  [The crew gathered, laid out, and installed the replaceable components (OTA) and auxiliary gear for their particular Orlan “skaphandr” suits, including portable O2 tanks (BK-3), storage batteries, LiOH canisters, moisture collectors, KVO liquid cooling garments, ShL-10 headsets, GP-10K gloves, BK-10 undergarments, socks, filters for feedwater lines (FOR), IK Orlan measurement unit and BOS degassing pump, etc.  The inspections included pressure checks of the primary & backup BK-3s.]

Subsequent to Orlan activation and inspection, the crew focused on checkout of the suits and their BSS interface control units in PkhO and DC-1 for proper air/water separation of their cooling system.   [EVA-11 will be performed with the same suits as EVA-10 since they worked without flaw then, i.e., Gennady will be wearing Orlan #25 (red markings) with BRTA radio telemetry unit #13 installed, while Mike’s suit will be #26 (blue markings) with BRTA #18.]
Padalka removed the second 825M3 Orlan backpack battery, with its recharge completed, from the DC-1 docking compartment’s battery-charging unit (ZU-S).

Fincke meanwhile configured the Nikon F5 digital camera gear for its external use during the spacewalk.

At ~3:50pm EDT, the crew is scheduled to tag up with ground specialist via S-bands to discuss preparations of the U.S. segment (USOS) for the EVA.

In preparing for the required isolation of the USOS from the Russian segment (RS) during the unmanned period of the EVA, Mike Fincke performed the periodic one-hour task of inspecting and cleaning hatch seals and hatch plate sealing surfaces in the USOS, working on six hatches, viz., Node (forward, aft & starboard), Lab (aft), and Airlock, in support of regular ACS (atmospheric control system) maintenance.  [Hatch seals are lubricated with Braycote-601, which is also deposited on the sealing surfaces.  Dust and particles (FOD, foreign object debris) can stick to the lubricant and to both seals and sealing surfaces.  These are regularly inspected with a magnifying glass for FOD, nicks, burrs, cuts or gouges that would impair a proper seal, and are cleaned, as required, with brushes, dry wipes and Kapton tape.  (Last time done: 6/3/04).]

Gennady Padalka conducted the monthly PEP (portable emergency provisions) audit and inspection.   [The procedure involves verification that PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), PBAs (portable breathing assemblies), QDMAs (quick-don mask assemblies) and EHTKs (extension hose/tee kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware.  PEPs are not removed from their locker unless obvious damage is discovered during the inspection.  There are a total of 5 PBAs in the U.S. segment (USOS), viz., two in the Node, two in the Lab, and one in the Airlock.]

The CDR also conducted the periodic inspection of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-5 greenhouse.

Mike did the routine inspection of the SM’s SOZh environment control & life support system, prepared the regular IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for export/import to the IMS databases and completed the routine status checkup of the autonomous PCG-STES010 (Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System) payload in the Lab (done every Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

The crew performed its regular daily physical exercise on TVIS treadmill, RED resistive exerciser, and VELO stationary bike with load trainer, and the FE conducted the prescribed weekly maintenance/inspection check of the TVIS, checking its SPDs (subject positioning devices) and its time & date settings.

Mike Fincke received rave reviews from POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) for his dedicated work on CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment) during his popular “Saturday Science” program on 8/28.   [The experiment run resulted in “hours of good low-g stuff — complete with a share of unexpected phenomena!”]

The SAMS (space acceleration measurement system) laptop has locked up again, putting SAMS out of service.  The problem may be with the network, however, not with the ICU (interface control unit) itself.  MAMS (microgravity acceleration measurement system) continues to operate nominally.
The next scheduled software upgrade will be for the two GNC MDMs (guidance, navigation & control multiplexer/demultiplexers), which are planned for transition from vers. R3 to R4 on 9/8 (GNC-1) and 9/9 (GNC-2, backup).  In case of problems, a backout procedure to go back to R3 is also in place.

Major upcoming events:

  • EVA-11 — 9/3 (hatch open 12:50pm EDT);
  • Soyuz 9S launch — 10/9;
  • Soyuz 9S dock — 10/11;
  • Soyuz 8S undock/land — 10/19;
  • Soyuz 9S relocate — 11/18;
  • Progress 16P launch — 11/24.

Did you know that…
… including P6 Truss, Service Module, FGB, Progress 15P, andSoyuz 8S, the ISS currently has 746 square meters (8030 square feet) of solar arrays?

Expedition 9 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.

Today’s CEO photo targets, limited in the current XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the science window, which is available for only ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing forward (in “ram”), were Hurricane Frances, Central Atlantic (Dynamic event.  Frances was predicted to be a Category 3 storm at the time of this pass.  The eye should have been located approximately 4 degrees right of track.  This imagery will enable researchers to build a time series tracking the development of this storm), Internal waves, Amazon River mouth (this pass provided an opportunity for internal wave imagery off of the northeastern coast of South America.  The sunglint point was to the left of track), and Internal waves, E & W Florida coasts (clear weather over Florida provided an opportunity to capture internal waves around the Florida peninsula.  The sunglint point was to the left of track and slightly in front of the ISS.  Illumination was best over the eastern coastline of Florida).

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 9 crew visit:

U.S. & Russian Segment Status  (as of today, 10:36pm 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; is still considered failed).  SFOG slot #2 fan suspect (not usable).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738; temperature (deg C) — 26.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — 160.9; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.2.
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 736; temperature (deg C) — 20.9.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 736.9; temperature (deg C) — 24.2 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 738.8; temperature (deg C) — 24.5; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 739.0; temperature (deg C) — 24.9; shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • (n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (solar-tracking, “sun slicer”, i.e., drag reduction-biased by 47 deg angle (2B: +47, 4B: -47).
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are on line in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are on line in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #3 is off line.  All other batteries (5) are on line in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 is in Standby mode; PCU-2 is in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems (C&DH)

  • 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 (backup).
  • 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): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 3 redundant lanes (of 3) operational.
  • FGB MDM-1 is Off (failed, 11/21/03); MDM-2 is Operational.

Propulsion System (PS):

  • Total propellant load available: 4239 kg (9345 lb) as of 8/26/04;  [SM(552) + FGB(3407) + Progress M(280)].  (Capabilities: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems (ACS):

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed, since 6/6/02; CMG-2’s RPC-17 failed 4/21/04; was replaced 6/30/04).
  • 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: 180.5 deg, pitch: -6.9 deg., roll: 0 deg]), with CMG TA (thruster assist) until 9/2 for EVA-11, then back to XPOP until next reboost (9/22).

Communications & Tracking Systems (C&T):

  • 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 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 Location NOW

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ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 8:11am EDT [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 361.3 km
  • Apogee height — 365.1 km
  • Perigee height — 357.5 km
  • Period — 91.77 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0005634
  • Solar Beta Angle — 29.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.69
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 80 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 32999

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.