Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 Mar 2004

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

The crew worked in the DC-1 docking compartment, returning its systems to the original pre-EVA configuration.  The activity was supported by tagup with ground specialists.

Later, FE Alexander Kaleri spent time in the Soyuz-213/TMA-3 to reconfigure it to pre-EVA condition, e.g., removing and stowing Orlan restraint devices, detaching and stowing an Orlan pressure release valve, installing a payload pallet, etc.

Kaleri also terminated the discharging of the second Orlan spacesuit battery (825M3), then disconnected and deinstalled the ZU-S charging unit.   [Prior to the activity, the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its VD-SU control mode were turned off; afterwards they were reactivated.]

Using the SSC7 (station support computer #7) laptop in the Airlock (A/L), CDR/SO Michael Foale initiated another maintenance charge/discharge cycle on two EMU/spacesuit batteries (#2029 & #2030) in the A/L’s BSA (battery stowage assembly).   [Prior to initiating the activity, Foale updated a table of values in three of the four BCMs (battery charger modules), then started a new software procedure on the SSC that takes each of the batteries through an entire charge/discharge maintenance cycle automatically, with no crew involvement.  The charging takes about 24 hrs and will be followed by discharge.  Helmet light and PGT (pistol grip tool) batteries are not involved.  The EMU battery maintenance is performed every 50 days, consisting of fully charging and then discharging the batteries to prolong their useful life.]

Kaleri conducted a lengthy maintenance procedure on the condensate water processor (SRV-K2M) and its non-potable water container (KTV), with the objective to prevent further re-occurrences of false “KTV is full” indications.   [The outcome of the IFM will now be monitored for 24 hours before further steps are taken.]

Foale collected the regular ppCO2 (carbon dioxide partial pressure) readings in the SM and Lab with the CDMK (carbon dioxide monitoring kit).   [These weekly readings in both modules, using the same CDMK unit, are now being conducted for the next few weeks to help the ground better assess if IMV (intermodular ventilation) flow between the U.S. and Russian segments has become degraded.  The ground is also considering to have the crew take up again the weekly air constituent measurements with the new CSA-CPs (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) that were delivered on 13P and have been deployed now for four weeks of decontamination.]

Continuing the procedure started yesterday on the Russian “Wiener” power laptop and the Matryoshka payload server (BSPN), Alex Kaleri today downloaded software files from the server to a flash card via the laptop, after first installing an appropriate download application on it.

The FE completed the regular periodic download of data & imagery collected of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment to the computer for subsequent downlink to the ground.   [Rasteniya studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-4 greenhouse.]

The crew worked out with their daily 2.5-h physical exercise program.

Mike performed the monthly maintenance of the TVIS treadmill and of the RED (resistive exercise device), including its bolts, to tighten them as required.

Sasha performed the daily routine maintenance of the SM’s SOZh life support system, including the weekly inspection of the active BRPK air/liquid condensate separator system.  He also prepared the daily IMS “delta file” for automatic export/import to update the databases.

The Elektron oxygen (O2) generator is still down.  Troubleshooting has stopped to await further recommendations from the special Commission (Romanov), established to study the current problems with the electrolysis machine.

A repress of the ISS interior with fresh O2 from Progress 13P was performed yesterday, raising O2 partial pressure (ppO2) by 8.5 mmHg (torr).  13P still holds ~12mmHg worth of O2, good for two more represses.   [If Elektron operation is not restored soon, one repress will be scheduled this weekend and the other some time middle of next week.  Total atmospheric pressure this morning was 743 mmHg, with a ppO2 of 153 mmHg.]

The Science Officer received thanks from POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center Huntsville) for his work with the HRF (Human Research Facility) yesterday.  The subsequent downlinking of stored data of the FOOT experiment (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight) appears to have been successful but will have to be confirmed by the PI (Principal Investigator).

During the 7S/Soyuz SUD (motion control system) thruster testing on 2/16, the existence of a “microleak” (TsUP/Moscow) was confirmed in manifold #1 (DN1) of the propulsion pressurization system.  The leak in this section, used for the 7S docking, depleted 20 atm of helium (He) line pressure down to 0 within 30 hours after valve closings.  The small leak in the pressurization system’s other manifold, section #2 (DN2), which was discovered during Soyuz free flight before docking, had taken 10 days to bleed pressure to 0 atm.  At present, helium valves in both sections continue to be closed.   [DN2, which has not been used since detection of its leak before docking, will be pressurized for a thruster test before 7S undocking next month, and the leak rate will then be monitored.  Due to lack of onboard telemetry, both leaks’ exact locations and conditions cannot be determined, but the leak rates that were observed are not high enough to be a worry at this time.  The He amount lost overboard is about 20 liters out of a total of 15,000 liters in storage bottles.  The deorbit burn will be performed by the main engine and, according to TsUP, even if there were no He gas admitted to the tanks as pressurant, they would have enough ullage pressure for prop blowdown.  Also, as stated by TsUP, if the thrusters should become unavailable, Soyuz would use its vernier jets as backup for attitude control.]

While SM thrusters were disabled during EVA-9, the U.S. momentum management controller (MMC) experienced several large unexpected peaks in momentum to be countered by the CMGs (control moment gyros). Specialists are reviewing the data to identify possible sources of disturbance.  Resolution of this anomaly is required to understand the ability to support the three planned Increment 9 EVAs.   [Whereas nominal start-up transients for this MMC peak at approximately 35% of maximum, and steady-state momentum percentage is nominally 30%, two peaks reached 64%, and a third peak was rising toward 75% when the thrusters were enabled.  If the momentum had reached 100%, there would have been a loss of attitude control resulting in a delay or possible termination of the EVA in order to regain control.] 

Some anomalous performance of the U.S. CMG-3 is being closely watched since two days.   [Immediately following three nominal automatic CMG desaturations on 2/2 after attitude control handover from RS thrusters to U.S. CMGs, CMG-3’s SMCC (spin motor commanded current) rose, accompanied by vibrationspikes on this gyro to approximately 0.054g, 0.046g, and 0.03g before returning to nominal steady-state values (which are less than 0.015g).  This signature reappeared following a manual desaturation  per nominal procedures  on 2/2.  They are similar to the event reported on 11/6/03.  No immediate changes in operating procedures are recommended at this time.]

Last night (~7:00pm EST), when replacing a computer ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) communications card, all communications between MCC-Houston and MCC-Moscow were lost for ~54 min, until their restoration.   [Originally, no service disruption was expected during this maintenance activity, since comm traffic was rerouted to backup microwave circuits.  However, Moscow’s microwave station on Ostankino Tower unfortunately sustained a temporary loss of power at this very time.]

Today’s CEO (Crew Earth Observations) targets, limited in 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 Nile River Delta (although winters are mild in this region, the growing season is nearly year round.  Looking either side of track for good views of seasonal changes in crop patterns and vegetation color), Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya (weather is looking better than usual over east Africa for this pass.  As ISS approached from the NW, the crew was to look left of track after passing Nairobi to acquire more long-lens views of the snow and ice fields of Mount Kilimanjaro), Angolan Biomass Burning (summer rains appear to have ended earlier than usual over southwestern Africa and this may portend an early onset of the burning season.  Looking left of track for smoke plumes as ISS passed southeastward over Angola), Caracas, Venezuela (near-nadir view of the Venezuelan capital.  As ISS approached the rugged northern coast of Venezuela, the crew was to look just inland for this city of 5 million plus), and Lake Poopo (after recent summer rains in the Altiplano region researchers are looking for water color changes in the lake and especially the large bright playas to the SW).

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, 1:15pm EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is Off.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On.  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  SM Gas Analyzer has been calibrated and is used for ppO2 and 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 (repair now completed; to be tested ASAP).
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.1; ppO2 (mmHg) — 146.6; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.6;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741; temperature (deg C) — 20.0.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 748; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 743.89; temperature (deg C) — 23.8 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.73; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 745.83; temperature (deg C) — 24.1; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.2, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 25.0
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 12.2

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in in Autotrack (suntracking) and bias-angled 43 deg. for drag reduction.
  • SM batteries:  All batteries (8) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #6 is off-line (capacity restoration mode, ROM); battery #2 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (4) 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 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: 4036 kg (8898 lb) as of 2/27/04  [SM(755) + FGB(2622) + Progress M(0) + Progress M-1(659)].  (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 Lab PDGF/LEE A, powered 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, 7:25am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 369.0 km
  • Apogee — 376.6km
  • Perigee — 361.4 km
  • Period — 91.93 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.628 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0011298
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 115 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30189

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

SpaceRef staff editor.