Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 5, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 Mar 2004

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

Troubleshooting continues on the failed Elektron oxygen generator, with FE Alexander Kaleri today focusing on systematic reconfiguring the water feed equipment (viz., EDV/KOV container with bubbles removed, BP pump unit and BZh liquid unit) to ensure elimination and prevention of any gas bubbles.   [He then restarted the machine, but as it currently appears, without much success.]

CDR/SO Michael Foale reviewed procedures for the TVIS treadmill gyro repair scheduled for next week (3/9 & 3/10), based on 60 pages of instructions uplinked last week.  He was later joined by Kaleri for the review and for a subsequent inspection of the TVIS chassis, which they will have to open up.   [In the event that the flywheel bearing repair is unsuccessful, results of a detailed structural fatigue analysis based on the no-gyro load tests of 12/4/03 have shown that with each crewmember exercising on the TVIS for 30 min daily for 90 days, highest loads remain below 5% of design limit loads.  In fact, peak loads are less than pre-flight predictions for intravehicular activity (IVA) motions and SM ergometer activity.  TVIS operations in the current contingency configuration are therefore allowed to continue through the end of the next increment (Increment 9).  In the current mode, the treadmill can be operated in either non-motorized passive configuration (no roll gyro, inactive yaw/pitch stabilizers) or non-motorized active config (no roll gyro, active yaw/pitch stabilizers.]

After working through a training session to practice a newly developed technique for evacuating the inter-pane “Volume D” in the Lab science window, the crew performed the “real” activity.  The activity took longer than expected, but pressure checks on both window inter-pane volumes (C & D) indicate that it was successful.  Most importantly, the crew did not observe any condensation.  Further vacuum checks are to follow before installation of the new U-jumper flexhose, delivered by 13P, in about two weeks.   [The new technique, restricting evacuation flow rate by very slow tightening/throttling of QDs (quick disconnects), was designed to prohibit flash condensation of any humidity between the window’s pressure panes, which may have seeped in during the small leakage of the U-jumper flexhose.  For the practice, Mike first used male and female NOAPs (nitrogen/oxygen pressure adapters), an ISA (internal sample adapter) and VAJs (vacuum access jumpers) to simulate the procedure by slowly venting cabin air into an evacuated equipment volume.  For the actual depressurization, the crew used the FSS (fluid system servicer), ISA and VAJ with the Lab VRIV (vent & relief isolation valve) to slowly vent any air and humidity in “Volume D” overboard. ]

Kaleri performed major maintenance on the Service Module (SM) toilet facilities (ASU), swapping first the pretreat and water dispenser system (DkiV) with a new unit, then replacing a pipe and a bag.  Removed units were stowed for disposal.

Both crewmembers conducted their weekly IMS (inventory management system) tagups with ground specialists, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for updating the IMS database.

Alex Kaleri unstowed the Motorola-9505 Iridium satellite phone from its location in the Soyuz TMA-3 descent module (DM) and recharged its lithium-ion battery.   [For safety, before powering up the recharge unit, the telephone, as before (12/24/03), was placed into a single CTB (crew transfer bag), which then was placed inside a triple CTB.  The charging was monitored every 30 minutes without taking the satphone out of the containment.  Upon completion, Kaleri removed the phone, placed it inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the Soyuz TMA-3 DM’s operational data files container.]

The crew worked out on TVIS and RED exerciser.

Foale completed the routine task of transferring data files from the TVIS and RED equipment to the medical equipment computer (MEC) via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm.  Later, he performed the periodic transfer of accumulated data files from the wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) receiver stations to the MEC for downlink, then deleting them on the HRM.

Mike also conducted the weekly status checkup of autonomous Increment 8 payloads in the Lab (CGBA, PCG-STES010).

Sasha performed another daily session of inspecting the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-4 greenhouse.

At 11:50am EST, ISS attitude control was handed over to the Russian SUD (motion control system), followed by a thruster-effected maneuver to the test attitude required for conducting the planned SM and FGB solar array efficiency testing (last time done: 11/11/03).  The test itself takes 6.5 hrs, and attitude control returns to the U.S. segment (USOS) at 6:50pm.   [The periodic Russian efficiency testing keeps track of the energy-output performance of the photovoltaics over time under the degrading effects of the space environment (mostly from ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen).  Since the test requires the full power output of the solar arrays and the FGB itself does not have sufficient loads for drawing it, the U.S. side, on request, has increased U.S. loads up to 1238 W today, increasing and decreasing in steps of ~200 W each two minutes.  MCC-Houston also is taking advantage of this opportunity to conduct a calibration test on RACU 6 (Russian-to-American Converter Unit #6), which is carrying the increased load.  The procedure has been used twice before (4/3/03 & 11/11/03.)]

After the Russian solar arrays were repositioned for the efficiency test, the ground completed the external station survey with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras, imaging the RS (FGB, Soyuz and DC-1, and SM).

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 Khartoum, Sudan (ISS had a near nadir pass over the city of Khartoum.  Looking for the confluence of the White and Blue Niles and trying for an image that captured the entire city in one frame), Lower Amazon River Basin (weather is usually marginal over this delta.  However, imagery of the delta is important to capture sediment discharge patterns and island morphology), Patagonian Glaciers (the crew was to shoot the southern-most glaciers on the eastern flanks of the Andes.  The weather should have been clearest there.  The ground is looking for details of the smaller glaciers; the larger ones are pretty well documented.  The most interesting details are the glacier terminus and the lateral moraines), and Tuamotu-Austral Islands (400mm-lens:  the orbit track took the ISS down the length of this long archipelago.  The crew was to use the long lens to map details of the coral reef structures of the islands).

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) — 26.3; ppO2 (mmHg) — 145.9; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 3.7;
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 746; temperature (deg C) — 20.2.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 744; temperature (deg C) — 23.3.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 741.34; temperature (deg C) — 24.8 (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 743.30; temperature (deg C) — 25.0; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 743.50; temperature (deg C) — 24.7; shell heater temp (deg C) — 24.5, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 26.9
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — 12.8

(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 47 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: 3948 kg (8704 lb) as of 3/5/04   [SM(755) + FGB(2534) + 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, 6:53am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 368.9 km
  • Apogee — 376.4km
  • Perigee — 361.4 km
  • Period — 91.93 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.629 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0011105
  • Solar Beta Angle — 21.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss last 24 hours — 80 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 30204

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

SpaceRef staff editor.