Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 Jan 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
January 5, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 Jan 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Week 11 is underway for Expedition 8, and this is the crew’s 79th
day in space (77 aboard ISS).

Before breakfast, both station residents completed their fifth session of the periodic Russian medical experiment protocols PZEh-MO-7 (calf volume measurement) and PZEh-MO-8 (body mass measurement).  FE Kaleri set up the MO-8 “scales” equipment and later broke it down and stowed it away.  (Last time done: 12/22). [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].

CDR Foale completed the “Phosphenes” questionnaire uplinked on 11/13 for the crew to record, over time, their perceptions of light flashes (anomalous phosphenes) during orbital operations. [Astronauts have observed anomalous phosphenes as “light flashes” as far back as the first space missions.   The light flashes, seen particularly with closed eyes, are sudden, unexpected and short perceptions of light in any shape, color or characteristic that can appear in the visual field while in space.  The study will involve an anticipated sample of approximately 50 ISS crewmembers who have consented to it.  The information expected to be obtained from the questionnaire will be highly valuable in the short and long-term monitoring and understanding of the effects of space on human brain functions as well as in the design and planning of new experiments in the ISS.]

Michael Foale inserted pen-and-ink (P&I) changes in the Warning Book, to account for a recent update of the TCS (thermal control system) pump failure procedure, which has changed callouts.  Also uplinked was a summary list of books and procedures plus P&I messages currently on board.   [The crew has 11 books in hardcopy available: 2 Warning, 3 Emergency-1, 2 Emergency-2, 1 Payloads, 1 EVA Systems, 1 Photo/TV, and 1 Med. Checklists.]
After a preparatory review of procedures and tagup with ground specialists via S-band, Alexander Kaleri began the periodic inspection and photo-documentation of the window panes in the Russian segment (RS), working in the Service Module (SM) and DC-1 docking module.  The observations were recorded in image and text files for subsequent downlink via U.S. OCA assets.  [Objective of the inspection, using digital still camera (Nikon D1 or Kodak 760) and voice recorder, is to assess the pane surfaces for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection (performed by Yuri Malenchenko on 6/30/03).  The new assessment will be compared to the earlier observations.  Defects are measured with the parallax method which uses eyeball-sighting with a ruler and a right isosceles triangle to determine the formations’ size and position with respect to the window’s internal surface (parallax being the apparent change in an object’s position resulting from changing the observer’s position).]

After clearing the Airlock’s CCAA (common cabin air assembly) air conditioner inlets and smoke detector of stowed equipment and moving it temporarily to the Node, Mike Foale supported activation of the CCAA preparatory to the crew’s subsequent swapout/resizing activity on the three U.S. EMUs (extravehicular mobility units).  Afterwards the CCAA was turned off.   [The resizing is to prepare for the possibility of a contingency EVA.  EMU #3011 was resized for Mike on the aft EDDA (EMU Don Doff Assembly) in the Airlock (A/L), and EMU #3005 was adjusted on the forward EDDA for Kaleri.  Finally, EMU #3013 was sized using most of the remaining hardware and will be stowed on the floor in the position that was previously occupied by #3011.  Due to A/L CCAA constraints, this stowage will be performed during the IMS A/L re-stow activity scheduled for tomorrow (1/6).]

Mike performed the regular status checkup of Lab payloads, while Sasha conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh life support system and prepared the prepared the IMS inventory “delta” file.

Kaleri completed the weekly maintenance of the TVIS treadmill and conducted the newly required weekly inspection of the TVIS wire ropes for signs of fraying

Both crewmembers worked out with their daily 2.5-h program of physical exercise, on TVIS, RED expander, and VELO cycle with load trainer.

A review and familiarization session was scheduled for the CDR of the procedures for the upcoming (1/7) new MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) experiment, which uses water and honey as test fluids.

The scheduled routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (compound specific analyzer-combustion products) and sensor readings of cabin air constituents in SM and Lab were deferred due to time constraints.  Also postponed was the periodic checkout of the MedOps cardiac defibrillator.

U.S. and Russian specialists are investigating a slight drop in total cabin air pressure, which was first noted on 12/29 and has now stabilized at 731-732 mmHg after as total drop of 11 mmHg.  [While total pressure is directly measured, ppN2 (nitrogen partial pressure) cannot be determined by instrument readings but is commonly calculated (with known ppO2).  The apparent decrease in nitrogen is as yet unexplained and under investigation.]

The U.S. CMGs (control moment gyroscopes) continue to run nominally.

Elektron Update:   On 1/3, the Elektron O2 generator experienced a hard failure, after TsUP/Moscow still had hoped to keep it running.  Recovery plans are focusing on two activities, viz., investigation of the possibly malfunctioning electronics control box, and if that doesn’t work, replacement of the BZh Liquid Unit with the onboard spare.

Oxygen Management Update:   Even without Elektron, oxygen supply on board is ample and poses no increased risk to the crew.  Of the 142 SFOG (solid-fuel oxygen generator) candles available last week, ten have been burned by tonight (two per day for two crewpersons).  There is also ~6.5 kg O2 stored in Progress 12P, plus large amounts in two HPTs (high-pressure tanks) outside A/L “Quest”.

Progress 13P Manifesting:   The launch of the next resupply ship, Progress M-49/13P, is scheduled for 1/28.  Due to the late-emerging need to manifest another BZh liquid unit, some other less-critical 13P cargo is getting “bumped” to a later flight.   [This includes the new MCA (major constituent analyzer), the two SchRED (Schwinn resistive exercise device) canisters, some TCS equipment (pump package panel) and one of the six manifested water-filled EDV containers.]

At dinnertime, as every day, the crew supported the Renal Stone prevention experiment by taking the test medication (either potassium citrate or placebo tablets) until the next sample collection phase early in 2004.

Coming up:

  • 1/6 (tomorrow) — CDR/SO Michael Foale’s birthday.
  • 1/7 (Wednesday) — Russian Holiday (Orthodox Christmas)
  • 1/8 (Thursday) —  Progress 12P reboost/phasing burn of 1.4 m/sec delta-V.

For today’s CEO (crew earth observations) sessions, the ground uplinked a list of target cities as potential photographic opportunities at the crew’s discretion.
CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 8:00am EST).

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

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered Off.  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 On; SKV-2 is Off (repair incomplete).

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in fixed (dual-angle) position (non-suntracking). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; battery #5 is in “Cycle” mode; all other batteries (6) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (5) 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:3637 kg (8018 lb) as of 1/1/04 [SM(755) + FGB(2530) + Progress M(352) + 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:

  • LVLH  XVV (local vertical/local horizontal = “earth-fixed”: z-axis in local vertical, x-axis in velocity vector [yaw: -10 deg, pitch: -9.4 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.
  • 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, 7:28am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 369.1 km
  • Apogee — 373.5 km
  • Perigee — 364.8 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006431
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 100
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29264

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

SpaceRef staff editor.